COPPELL — Solomon Thomas was up early Wednesday for signing day.
"I feel great. I’m just ready to get this done," he said as he arrived at school around 6:45 a.m.
The defensive end from Coppell High had not made his decision public until Wednesday morning.
A TV crew from ESPN was set up waiting for him to announce his decision on the network's National Signing Day special.
“Thank you for having me on the show,” Thomas told a national TV audience. “Next year I'll be playing college football, and I'll be graduating from Stanford University.”
As he made the announcement, Solomon reached under the table and pulled out a potted tree. “Fear the tree,” he said, referring to one of the most bizarre and controversial college mascots.
Solomon might not have enrolled in Stanford if it hadn’t been for former teammate Jacob Logan. Jacob died in the fall of 2012, and Solomon did not want to forget him on his big day. So he dedicated an essay to Jacob, part of his acceptance procedure to Stanford.
That letter was sent to Stanford, and on signing day Wednesday, Solomon invited Jacob's father and sister to be there.
When he started to apply at Stanford, Solomon’s mother, Martha Thomas, watched when he was writing the essay about his deceased friend.
“The worst pain for a parent is seeing your child in pain, and to see him express it, it was very emotional,” she said.
“I think Jacob is still here working with us,” added Jacob’s father, Howard Logan. “We're just glad that Solomon made the right decision.”
“I know Jacob is on his mind and all of our minds right now,” said Jacob's sister, Jordan Logan.
“There are certain things in life you never forget, and this is going to be one,” added Chris Thomas, Solomon’s father. “Just knowing that Jacob is looking down giving us his blessing and love... it’s very special.”
“Jacob really influenced me to go to Stanford because he always told me get the best of both worlds. That was big for him,” Solomon said.
So for the next four years, Thomas will be getting an education at Stanford — just like his friend Jacob wanted.