As one of the top-rated outside linebackers in the 2013 class, Matthew Thomas was a prized unsigned recruit that many teams hoped to add to their defenses. Ultimately, the talented prospect decided he will attend Florida State this fall.
No. 5 overall recruit and No. 1 OLB Matthew Thomas has announced his commitment to Florida State. #SigningDay— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 6, 2013
The 6’3”, 210-pound pass-rusher will graduate from Booker T. Washington High School in Miami this June, and now his future is planned out.
247Sports' composite rankings give Thomas a 5-star rating and ranks him as the No. 8 overall recruit in this year's class. He is rated as the the second-best player at his position and the third-best prospect coming out of Florida. Due to his impressive resume, he was selected to take part in the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game.
According to his Rivals profile, his 40-yard-dash time is 4.59 seconds and he has a vertical leap of 36 inches. He is an explosive athlete capable of becoming a dominant pass-rusher.
Thomas has played both outside linebacker and defensive end, and he has the speed to torment opposing offensive linemen. The Seminoles will certainly benefit from his presence when he has established himself with the program.
Several of the SEC’s top programs were interested, including Alabama. Notre Dame, Oklahoma, USC and UCLA all put forth offers as well.
Sports Illustrated’s Gabriel Baumgaertner notes that Thomas had 117 tackles and 13 sacks during his junior season, but also that he has the right mindset to become a star at the next level.
Baumgaertner quotes Booker T. Washington’s assistant head coach Tim Harris Jr. saying:
We've had guys go to the next level and be successful. But we have had many who have gone on and haven't survived because they didn't listen to the right people. They end up falling off of the ledge. Matthew has done a very good job up to this point of staying steady.
Florida State has landed a player with vast potential and if he continues to display the work ethic and commitment that made him a star in high school, he will flourish at the collegiate level.