Position: Outside Linebacker
School: Booker T. Washington High School (Fla.)
Commitment Status: Undeclared
Top School: Florida State, Miami, Alabama, Georgia, USC
Strengths: The first thing you’ll notice about Thomas is the killer speed he possesses for an outside linebacker. He has the natural quickness to really fly around offensive tackles as a pass rusher, and great closing speed that allows him to make plays in the open field. He’s versatile, having played at both defensive end and outside linebacker at the high school level. His acceleration makes for some massive hits on opposing ball-carriers, and he can be incredibly dangerous coming after the quarterback on blitzes. Excellent at stripping the ball away. Plays quite well in space. Could be a real force on special teams.
Weaknesses: More of a finesse player than a punishing run-defender at this point. Has adequate size at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, but would probably have to bulk up before seeing regular playing time at the college level. Relies more on his speed to make tackles, and his ability to wrap-up opponents and drive them backwards with his lower body can be inconsistent against stronger ball-carriers.
Analysis: Thomas is another linebacker you could classify as “raw,” but his potential — especially in Georgia’s defensive system — is enormous. Though he doesn’t necessarily have the hype of a Reuben Foster, Thomas’ pass-rushing skills (he recorded a whopping 10.0 sacks in his senior season) give him the capability to become an eventual replacement for the talented Jarvis Jones. Georgia, however, doesn’t exactly have an inside edge on the talented linebacker from Miami. He has a far greater relationship with the coaching staff from Florida State, and more interest in the sanction-heavy Miami University.
Final Take: The Bulldogs would love to land Thomas. His officially scheduled visit on Feb. 1 is awfully close to Signing Day, which could work in Georgia’s favor, but at this point he likely still favors Miami and Florida State over the other schools on his list. To see Thomas choose Georgia wouldn’t be shocking.