Tide to Thomas: ‘prepare to play’

Since making his commitment to Alabama in early December, Adonis Thomas has been extremely public about his feelings with the Crimson Tide program. This weekend, he got another closer look at it with his official visit to Tuscaloosa, and the staff had a clear and important message for him.

It was a family affair for Scout300 linebacker and Alabama commitment Adonis Thomas this weekend in Tuscaloosa. His coach at Lawrenceville (Ga.) Central Gwinnett High School, Todd Wofford, also came along during a big official visit weekend on campus

“Adonis had a great time, he connected again with Shaun Dion (Hamilton),” Wofford said. “It seems like every time he’s over there, those two link up. He looks out for Adonis.”

In between the X’s and O’s talk between players and coaches, it was the youngest Thomas in attendance that impacted Nick Saban’s weekend.

“Adonis’ mom and his little brother went, and they had a great time,” he said. “His little brother Josiah stole the show from everybody; he was the center of attention. He raced some kid, and then the first night, he and Coach Saban played a basketball game in the team room. Josiah beat him, but they were both sweating after the game. He’s a competitive kid, and real fun to be around."

When the 6-foot-3, 219-pound Thomas was around Saban and primary recruiter Kirby Smart, it was about a message and stability on the defensive staff going forward despite the departures of assistants Lance Thompson and Kevin Steele.

“We had an idea something could happen, but the fact that Coach Saban and Coach Smart were his primary guys, the other two guys leaving didn’t have much of an impact,” Wofford said. “Smart had told him before, that there was a possibility he’d be the linebacker coach, and he reiterated it. It’s no shock to Adonis, at all.

“He was solid before this trip, and I know he had a great time during the trip. It didn’t do anything to sway him, at all. But it’s the SEC, schools aren’t going to stop recruiting him. Especially Florida, they’ll be in it until the end. Anything can happen, but today, I don’t see anything swaying his mind.”

While he doesn’t have any additional official visits planned, Thomas and Wofford are expecting Gators head coach Jim McElwain in the Atlanta-area for an in-person visit on Tuesday.

Thomas was among the double-digit Alabama commitments at the Under Armour Game

But coaching changes wasn’t the only topic discussed over the weekend. Position projection, the four-star’s preparation and early playing time were also on the table.

“They are telling him to prepare to play, get in as quick as he can, learn the playbook and get his body where it needs to be in order to be ready to play,” he said.

Since making the Crimson Tide commitment in December, the coach reports some change in Thomas’ approach.

“There’s relief, but there’s also a confidence,” Wofford said. “He’s going in with a good class, he knows a lot of the guys and they’re buddies now. You can tell that he’s ready.”

The way Alabama recruits doesn’t hurt, and it even checked a few boxes Central Gwinnett’s head man was curious about while taking in his first official visit.

“I wanted to see what Alabama did on their big weekend for myself,” he said. “It was fun, it was nice. You could see that it’s first class, the way they interact with their players, the importance they place on academics, you could just see things, like with Adonis’ brother. And it happens at other schools, but they recruit the family as much as the kid.

“Josiah, he may as well been at Six-Flags, he had a great time. Every coach, every host knew who he was and where he was from. He was the entertainer.”

Thomas, tabbed as the No. 276 overall prospect in the cycle, is also ranked as the No. 25 outside linebacker prospect in the class of 2015 on Scout.

Senior Highlights: Adonis Thomas

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