March 9, 2013
Seminoles.com Managing Editor
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One of two five-star prospects signed by Florida State in 2013, Matthew Thomas was not only considered one of the best outside linebackers in the nation but one of the best overall players.
Thomas committed to FSU at a ceremony at his school on signing day, turning down offers from virtually every major programs across the country. The Seminoles were in a tight battle with USC, Alabama and Miami in the end for Thomas’ services but won out thanks in large part to Jimbo Fisher’s recruiting efforts.
Thomas’ signing was especially interesting because of the talented coaches FSU had lost during the off-season that recruited the Miami area.
A standout at powerhouse Booker T. Washington High School, Thomas was one of the best players in the talent-rich South Florida area and the ‘Noles were still able to sign him despite ace Miami recruiters James Coley, Mark Stoops and Eddie Gran leaving Tallahassee for other programs.
As a prospect, Thomas’ 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame is ideal for packing on strength-gaining weight without losing athleticism and speed. He also boasts impressive instincts and pass experience rushing the passer as he played some defensive end in high school as well.
Thomas’ sideline-to-sideline quickness has drawn comparisons to FSU star linebacker Christian Jones.
“He’s one of those kids that can change the game,” Fisher said. “He’s explosive, athletic, can run outside, can cover. He played wide-out until tenth grade. He has great ball skills. He can bend and can play in the middle if he had to. He’s just one of those guys that is a tremendous football player and a competitor.
“Who’s ever team he’s on, they usually win.”
FSU needed to load up on linebackers this recruiting cycle and few nationally are any better than Thomas and he’ll have the chance to push for immediate playing time this fall.
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