"This kid is so strong," said Mandarin Head Coach Richard Burnolski. "Marcus is such a great athlete, is a physical kid and has such a first quick step."
Now Thomas committed to the Florida State Seminoles back in summer but that all changed over the past month or so. Thomas took official visits to FSU, Mississippi State and Florida. He backed off his Florida State commitment and yesterday committed to the Florida Gators.
"At the time, when I committed to FSU, I thought that was the best place for me," said Thomas. "Their staff was great and they showed me so much love. But then I starting looking at Florida and realized that that was the best place for me because of the playing opportunity. They need DLs so badly. I like the players and coaches as well. Who they are also bringing in was a big influence on my decision as well. All the guys (prospects) have been talking. The bottom line is I had to do what was best for me and it is going to Florida."
Originally, Thomas planned to make his decision on Signing Day. But that changed on Monday.
"Marcus came in my office yesterday morning and said coach, lets do this today," said Coach Bruno. "He wanted to make sure FSU had time to give that scholarship to someone else." Classy move. Today, many of the kids want to draw it out and wait until National Signing Day, not realizing that the team or teams they don't choose, could be scrambling to fill that open scholarship.
"It was hard enough to walk away from a team like Florida State and a coach like Bobby Bowden," said Thomas. "I didn't want that hanging over my head. If feels good to have this done a little early anyway. People don't understand the pressure."