Doc Gamble, the head football coach at Withrow, told Bearcat Insider that Cincinnati started showing new interest not long after we ran our story. "Coach Coombs came by last week, and then he came by again today. I told him I ran it by Bryant, and it's a go. That's what he (Bryant) wanted all along. I think Coach Coombs brings a lot of new energy to the program, and I was very pleased with the last group (Coach Dantonio's staff) too. But this group is really enthused about what's going on at UC."
Kerry Coombs spearheaded the recruitment of Thomas and brought Bearcat assistant coach Ernest Wilson along to meet both Doc and Bryant Thomas. Doc said Wilson will be recruiting Withrow in the future.
This verbal agreement happened very quickly according to Doc. "We were just sitting around, and Coach Coombs came in and said, 'That kid (Thomas) can play.' I said, 'Yeah, I know.' He was liked by everyone, but no one pulled the trigger. West Virginia came in Monday and talked with him. Bryant is a Top 100 kid in Ohio." For more of Doc's thought on Bryant, read our story from January 22 entitled "Withrow's Thompson and Thomas."
Bryant couldn't be happier about the recent developments. "I always wanted to stay local so my family can come to see me. I'll be the first one in my family to go to college." Bryant wasn't interested in taking an official visit. "Coach Gamble told me about the offer, and I committed to them right there." Doc said Bryant has been on the campus so many times an official visit wasn't necessary.
This versatile athlete is being recruited as such. "I'm going to be an athlete. They don't have a set position for me. I could play anywhere on the football field." When asked where he'd like to play, Thomas gave the answer coaches love to hear, "I just want to play football. I just want to get on the field." As a sophomore, Bryant said he was 2nd team all-league as a receiver, but he‘s also more than willing to play on the defensive side of the ball.
Thomas talked about the entire process. "The old staff was recruiting me hard during my sophomore year, and it continued this year. Then they went up to Michigan State. Then Coach Kerry Coombs came to the school and said they were interested in offering me a scholarship. This was where I always wanted to play since my junior year."
Bryant said he's 6'1"/215 pounds and runs a 4.6 forty-yard dash. Bryant reports a 3.5 GPA but said he plans to retake the SAT because he wasn't happy with his score. He plans to be a criminal justice major at Cincinnati.