RECRUITING: Offers Pour In For The "Unknown Comet"

For the longest time, Bryan Thomas of Zephyrhills (FL) has been flying under the recruiting radar. There's no good reason for the lack of attention because he's a talented player on both sides of the ball with speed to burn. The days of anonymity for "The Unknown Comet" have almost come to an end, however. Bryan Thomas is opening the eyes of scouts all over the country and the offers are starting to pour in.

Larry Blustein of, a noted recruiting expert for in the state of Florida, shared his thoughts on the 6-2, 192 pound two-way player: "Sitting there watching film on him, he does look mighty good as a receiver, running good patterns and now looking the ball in. Reminds me of a Michael Irvin because he is not afraid to mix it up and go over the middle for the ball. But that's also why I think that he would make a tremendous safety in college."

With scholarship offers from Florida, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Indiana, Connecticut, Tennessee, West Virginia, Duke, Nebraska, Ohio state, and the University of Iowa, the people that matter are starting to notice Thomas. For those in attendance at the Urban Meyer 2005 Football Camp, it was hard not to notice. It was easy to see how he had 1300 yards of total offense, 93 tackles and four interceptions on defense during the 2004 high school season. Thomas had a good time showing off his skills for the crowd and the coaching staff.

"Everything worked out well," he said. "I worked a little at defensive back and a little at wide receiver. Coach Meyer told me he liked me at both. There were some great defensive backs. I think the best defensive backs in the state were there at the camp. I stood out a little because I was taller than most all of them and I was faster. When we ran the Smoke House Run, I outran them all."

When he says the best in the state, he was absolutely telling the truth. In the second session of camp, which Thomas attended, Ryan Hill of Tallahassee Rickards, Marcus Udell of Tallahassee Godby, St. Augustine's Jacques Rickerson, and Pahokee's Ricky Gary were just a few in attendance. Thomas more than held his own while playing both ways. He is undecided on which position he likes best.

"To be honest, it is either or for me," he said. "… wherever I can play as soon as I get in college. The drills we were running were more for cornerbacks, and they (the other campers) were cornerbacks and I am a safety. I just kind of caught on at the end. As a defensive person, I think I will be more of factor at safety, but corner would be alright for me on the defensive side."

He did have a chance of catching the ball as a wide receiver from two of the best senior quarterbacks in the country. On hand were St Augustine Nease quarterback Tim Tebow and Gator commitment Jevan Snead of Stephenville (TX). Thomas liked catching the ball from those guys.

"Oh man, two great quarterbacks," he said. They were very mature to be that young … my age."

He spent 2-3 days on campus and really enjoyed his visit to Gainesville and the Florida campus. Thomas was impressed with every aspect of the trip.

"I loved the place … the coaching staff was great," he said. "They care about you as a person as much as they care about you as an athlete. They look after you and they treat you like you are their own kids. Basically you are while you are over there working out. I love the school, the campus is great, the field. I loved everything about it."

He has already started paring down a list of favorites. The first word out of his mouth was music to the ears of a Florida staff that is hard recruiting this two-way star.

"I think of Florida highly," he said. "I also like Ohio State and Tennessee."

Of the other two schools he has outside influences directing him in that direction. Some very close to home.

"Ohio State … I don't know much about them, but from what I see from years past, they are a great football team," he said. "Ryan Pickett (ex-Buckeye defensive lineman) lives 100 yards away, and he says it is a great school and a great staff. I talk to Coach Beck, and he seems like a great guy."

"Tennessee is a great school," Thomas said. "Orien McCants (family friend), that is his alma mater, and he kind of reflects a lot from them and tells me a lot about them. They have had a good program in the past. I haven't really talked to the coaches there too much, but I have talked to Coach Fulmer."

He hasn't been to either school and plans on making his inaugural visit to both on an official visit.

Then there is the school that he always dreamed of playing for. The lure of the Miami Hurricanes is big for some and for Thomas, they were definitely his favorite when he was growing up. That has evidently changed a little bit.

"A Miami coach text messaged me last week and wanted me to make it to camp," he said. "I don't believe I am going to make it."

He seems to have the process in motion already and knows what he wants and who he wants it from. The priorities for his school of choice are something he will think long and hard about.

"First, I will look at the academic programs and graduation rates with athletes," he said. "Team as far as publicity goes …the coaching staff and environment, are very important. I want to know if I will fit in and if it is a place for me."

Bryan Thomas is not a household recruiting name, YET. He will be before all is said and done. The "Unknown Comet" is coming to a top 20 list near you.

Fightin Gators Top Stories