Jayhawks a Favorite With Thomas

The Jayhawks just landed a commitment from Blue Springs RB Darrian Miller, and are solidly involved with a teammate, CB Bernard Thomas. The latest update on Thomas' recruitment, inside.

The plan was supposed to be to wait.

Friends and teammates on the gridiron for the Blue Springs (Mo.) High School Wildcats, Bernard Thomas and Darrian Miller were just getting started with their recruitment. A cornerback and running back respectively. the two juniors are among the most talented prospects in the Kansas City metro area. 

So they figured they would start slow, Thomas said, and get a feel for the process. 

But when Miller, the 2009 Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year, opted to pull the trigger for Coach Turner Gill and the Kansas Jayhawks last week, the plan was unexpectedly tossed out the window. 

"That kind of made (his recruitment) a little more hectic," Thomas said, laughing. "I wasn't really expecting him to do that." 

Thomas' name is one that is quickly building steam within the college coaching ranks. Already in possession of offers from Arkansas and Kansas, he expected written offers from Tulsa, Illinois and Oklahoma State in the very near future. 

All of that attention isn't without merit. Thomas earned a reputation for shutting down the opposition's best wide receiver during BSHS' run to the Missouri Class 6 State Championship Game in 2009. Prior to the start of the season he posted impressive athletic numbers as well, clocking a 4.43-second forty-yard dash at a University of Oklahoma camp. 

Surprisingly, however, he doesn't list his speed as his greatest asset on the field. With a recorded bench press of 285 pounds – a record for defensive backs at BSHS – Thomas takes the most pride in his strength and ability to disrupt receivers at the line of scrimmage. 

"I like to jam people off the line," he said. "I feel like a physical cornerback is a receiver's worst enemy." 

Miller and Thomas were two of a host of recruits to attend Kansas Football's Junior Day Feb. 13. While in Lawrence, Thomas had the chance to meet with the Kansas coaching staff, tour the facilities and take in the atmosphere during the men's basketball match-up with Iowa State that afternoon. 

One of the things that impressed him the most, Thomas said, was the coaching staff's focus on making sure each of their players received a quality education. 

"You're stupid if you think you're just going to go to college to play football," he explained. "You've got to go there and get your degree, and at KU they're really big on that." 

Thomas also spent some time with cornerbacks coach Vic Shealy and running backs coach Reggie Mitchell, both of whom made a positive impression on the talented defender. 

Mitchell, Kansas' recruiting coordinator, is handling Thomas' recruitment directly. 

"He's honest," Thomas said, of Mitchell. "I like that. Some coaches try and hype you up but he's honest with you. He puts faith in you." 

So now that Miller has so dramatically accelerated his own time frame, will Thomas follow in his friend's footsteps and do the same? 

There was a time when it looked as if that might be the case. 

"I talked to my mom about it the other day when Darrian committed," Thomas said. "And she said she wants to visit the school first. She didn't get a chance to visit KU when we went down there. If we visit KU and she likes it, and I like it, I just might commit." 

But as of now, he said, it's looking more likely he'll wait until after his senior season to make his decision – which isn't to say the Jayhawks aren't still in a great position with the three-star prospect. 

"KU is a favorite right now," he said. "They're up there with a few other schools."

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