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
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
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
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
"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'
"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
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
"KU is a favorite right now," he said. "They're up there with a few
Jayhawks a Favorite With Thomas
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