USC Football: Is 5-Star Linebacker Matthew Thomas Heading West?

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USC Football: Is 5-Star Linebacker Matthew Thomas Heading West?
Photo from 247sports.com

Following on the heels of defensive tackle Delvon Simmons' transfer to USC, now comes what could be even bigger news for the Trojans.

After weeks of speculation, it now appears that 5-star 2012 linebacker Matthew Thomas could be the next to venture west to play football for the Cardinal and Gold.

According to ESPN's Joe Schad, Thomas' father Billy has said that his son wants to play for the Trojans and if he has to sit a year to do it, he will.

Said the elder Thomas, "No disrespect to Florida State but Matthew is willing to take the punishment if there is one, he's hoping Jimbo (Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher) will let him go."

Recently, former Notre Dame Commit Eddie Vanderdoes was released from his letter of intent to join UCLA but will have to sit a year before he can play for the Bruins and will lose a year of eligibility.

There has been conjecture for a couple of months that Thomas wanted out of his letter of intent that he signed with Florida State but that the university was reluctant to release him.

After meetings between the coaching staff and Thomas, it appeared that things had been settled and that the young linebacker from Booker T. Washington High School (Miami, FL) would stay a Seminole.

So why now is transfer talk being rekindled?

Schad quotes Billy Thomas as saying, "On signing day he didn't want to hurt his mom. But he's more excited now. It's about tradition. And surroundings. And excitement."

If USC can actually get Thomas in their fold then it will be Trojan fans who will be excited.

Thomas was a consensus 5-star prospect who was widely considered a top-10 player in last year's class.

At 6' 3", 220 pounds, Thomas in an extremely athletic linebacker whose sideline-to-sideline abilities make him a guy the opposing offense has to account for on every play.

To be certain, if USC can pull this off, it could be the coup of the class of 2012—a move that will rival the aforementioned Vanderdoes' transfer to UCLA.

One word of caution though. This news is coming via Thomas' father and has yet to be confirmed by Matthew Thomas himself.

But if true, this is a day for fans of the program to celebrate for sure.

Update:

Apparently the senior Thomas was blowing smoke. Warchant.com (the Rivals.com Florida State site) is now reporting that will now honor his letter of intent and enroll at Florida state.

Thomas is quoted as saying, "After meeting with coach Fisher and his staff and gathering all the information I have decided to honor my commitment to Florida State."

Oh well, sorry Trojan fans...

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