It's official: Chad Thomas is a Miami Hurricane.
The five-star recruit and Under Armour All-American kept his word and signed with UM on Wednesday morning during a ceremony at Booker T. Washington High School in Overtown.
"For the next four years I plan to be at... the University of Miami," Thomas said as he pulled out his Hurricanes jacket and put it on.
#WelcomeToTheU: Chad Thomas http://t.co/p9BtpAlZBI pic.twitter.com/yAiVlHAsCJ— Hurricanes Football (@MiamiHurricanes) February 5, 2014
Thomas had taken a pair of late visits to Florida State and Alabama and had UM fans nervous. But moments ago Thomas inked with the Hurricanes alongside teammate and fellow defensive end Demetrius Jackson.
Thomas is UM's top recruit on defense.
"He's just now starting to really scratch the surface of where he can be talent wise," said Corey Long, Editor-In-Chief of FUEL Recruiting. "If he does what I believe he can he's a first round pick down the line. He's really a heck of an athlete. Long arms, a winner, who understands what to do down there in the trenches.
"You could look at Joe Yearby, Shane McDermott and Brad Kaaya and Chad as the best recruits in UM's class.
"Chad is going to be a part of their two deep right away. He has to be. He might be more of a pass down guy initially, but he'll be an every down player soon enough. He's up there with Al-Quadin Muhammad in terms of pure talent. They definitely have good quality players at the end spots now.
"I see a little John Abraham in Chad because of the way he runs after the passer. He's definitely a 4-3 defensive end, kind of like Michael Johnson from Georgia Tech who is now with the Bengals.”
Jackson, a first-year football player, was pushed hard by Arkansas and received a late offer from Texas. But in the end he decided to stick with the Hurricanes, too.
“First time I saw him was against Central. He's this basketball guy, swatting passes down like an NBA center," Long said. "He knows some basic go-to-stuff in terms of moves. What I like most about him is that as a defensive end, he uses his arms to disrupt the play even if he's not close enough for a sack. He's a really tough kid, smart kid. He's always looking to disrupt.
"I think he needs to redshirt because he doesn't have the experience. I don't think you can put the young man on the field as a true freshman with only one year of high school football. I'm not sure where his future is down the line either. He might be a linebacker. He's long enough. He's a very much unfinished prospect but the initial reports are really good.”
Chad Thomas, DE, Miami Booker T. Washington
> Measurables: 6-5, 240, 4.85 in the 40-yard dash, 310-pound bench press
> Twitter handle: @F5_Chad
> Commitment date: July 20, 2013
> Recruiting ranking: A five-star recruit ranked 26th regardless of position in 247Sports composite rankings, 5th in the state of Florida and third among weakside defensive ends nationally.
> Career highlights: Under Armour All-American tallied 72 tackles, 15 for loss and eight sacks his senior season in helping lead his high school to a mythical national championship and back-to-back state titles. Chose UM after taking late official visits to Alabama and Florida State.
LINK TO HUDL HIGHLIGHTS: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/o/1506372/highlights/32658377
Demetrius Jackson, DE, Miami Booker T. Washington
> Measurables: 6-4, 225, 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 34-inch vertical leap
> Twitter handle: @F5_Jackson
> Commitment date: Dec. 9, 2013
> Recruiting ranking: Ranked 425th regardless of position in 247Sports Composite rankings, 59th in the state and 22nd among weakside defensive ends.
> Career highlights: Despite a late push from Texas and lots of tugging from Arkansas, Jackson, a first-year football player, kept his pledge to UM. As a senior he earned All-Dade First Team honors, racking up 73 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and seven sacks playing opposite of Chad Thomas.
LINK TO HUDL HIGHLIGHTS: http://www.hudl.com/athlete/o/2611977/highlights/53579378