There hasn’t been a lot of news surrounding East St. Louis (Ill.) Class of 2017 four-star wide receiver prospect Jeff Thomas and his recruitment lately, but now we have an update.
An explosive 5-foot-10, 167-pounder, Thomas is rated as the sixth-best wide receiver prospect in the Class of 2017 and the 48th-best prospect overall.
Thomas has been an impact player for East St. Louis since the beginning of his freshman season.
As a freshman, in 2013, Thomas recorded 56 catches for 988 yards and scored 11 total touchdowns, including a punt return for a score. In 2014, as a sophomore, he had 57 catches for 1,143 yards, racked up 1,325 total yards and accounted for 25 touchdowns — 12 receiving, six rushing, four on returns and three passing TDs.
As a junior, in 2015, the Flyers’ football season was cut short because of a teachers’ strike but Thomas still recorded 18 receptions for 357 yards and nine total touchdowns (seven receiving, two rushing) in five games.
After the release of the top six list, Thomas received another big offer — from the University of Miami.
The recruiting of Thomas will be an interesting story to follow as it unfolds. One factor that may play into it, or not, is the recent trend of East St. Louis High School players heading west to Missouri.
The Tigers landed four-star defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr. in 2015 and also have walk-on safety Dominic Nelson on their roster. In February, Missouri signed three more East St. Louis players in two JUCO transfers, running back Natereace Strong and safety Greg Taylor, and high school senior offensive lineman Tre'Vour Simms.
All five of those players were Taylor’s teammates and Nelson was the Flyers’ quarterback when Thomas was a freshman.