CoachSpeak: Cory Thomas

The National Signing Day dust has begun to settle. Those who followed three star defensive tackle Cory Thomas' recruitment are probably still wondering what really happened. After an on again off again courtship with Mississippi State, Thomas elected to join the Bulldog program yesterday by signing his national letter of intent to join Coach Dan Mullen's program putting an end to a wild few days.

Cory Thomas is a name that many Mississippi State fans have known for the better part of a year.

Thomas' flirted with the notion of verbally committing to the Bulldogs, but stopped short a couple of times.

In the end, the three star standout never did make a public proclamation about attending Mississippi State.

A prospect who shared so much of himself with the media and on social media, Thomas quietly provided one final twist to his recruitment by signing with the school he initially tabbed as his overall leader.

McAdory head football coach David Powell believes the Bulldogs are getting a great prospect.

"Cory has been a three year starter," said Powell. "He has worked extremely hard in the weight room and he has built his strength up.

"He was really good take off skills with his first step.

"He has been working on his leverage and on different pass rush moves.

"Cory has worked hard on his skills and he has just gotten better and better as a player.

"He has a high football I.Q. and he just has a ceiling."

Thomas has grown into his frame and has learned to play at a new weight this season.

His high school coach believes that he is just beginning to scratch the surface of his true potential.

"I think his body is beginning to expand and his thickening up," said Powell. "He's close to 280 now.

"You could probably put 30 or 40 more pounds on him and not slow him down any.

"I feel like he is going to be an inside guy. That would be my first instinct.

"He has the frame to expand and the feet to play offense if he needed to, but I feel that his heart and his passion is to play defense."

In the end Clemson, Mississippi State and Tennessee were all in the final mix headed into signing day.

At one point in the final days, east school was rumored to be the leader.

The lack of news from Thomas himself only added to the speculation.

"We just sat back here and let Cory and his family sort it all out," said Powell. "He always knew we were here if he needed us.

"He was the one who knew the situation better than anybody, because he was the one who had the chance to visit all three of them and get the vibe for each place.

"The problem he had was that he really liked all three and it was a hard decision for him.

"He liked all three schools and he really was torn.

"He decided to go back to Mississippi State and that was pretty much his original plan.

"When everything got sorted out, that is where he landed."

Powell reports that in the end, the connections he had with the coaches and players in Starkville were a factor.

"I heard him say that he really liked all three places and that he could see himself at all three places," said Powell. "I just think in the end, it was the people of Mississippi State that made the difference.

"He just connected with the players and the coaches and I think that made a difference.

"We have another player already ever there, Dezzmond Harris, and I am not sure if that made a difference or not, but I know he really liked the people over there."

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