Recruiting: Cowboys Add Two-Sport Standout

Normally baseball signings go somewhat quietly and usually aren't released until the class arrives at school in the fall. That is the nature of baseball recruiting where signing is only half the battle; the other is keeping the players from signing professional contracts and heading off to minor league baseball. Ralph Thomas of Lufkin (Texas) High School has not flown under the radar.

Oklahoma State coach Frank Anderson signed the fleet outfielder from Lufkin to a letter of intent on Tuesday. Thomas told the Lufkin Daily News that he will play both baseball and football if he attends Oklahoma State.

"I had other offers but it really came down to which scholarship would help my mom out the most," Thomas told the Lufkin newspaper. "Oklahoma State really came through, offering me for baseball and football. I'll have all my expenses covered; that's the best you can get.

"The coaches at OSU have already told me they'd work with me on setting up a schedule," continued Thomas in his interview with the Lufkin Daily News. "It's going to be hectic, but it's pretty much the same thing I do here."

Thomas is so fast that he qualified for the Class 5A state track meet this past weekend by finishing second in the regional meet in the 100 meters. He will run Saturday, but was playing in a baseball playoff series Thursday night and Friday for Lufkin against Georgetown.

The 5-8, 175-pound Thomas runs a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash. He played wide receiver, cornerback, and returned punts and kicks this past season for the Panthers football team, and is a teammate of Cowboy football incoming freshman Dez Bryant. Thomas earned All-State in Class 5A as an all-purpose player. This past season he evened stepped in at quarterback for part of a game because of an injury. In week five of the season he was the regional player of the week when he had five touches (interception, a pass, and three kick returns). He finished with 155 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns on those five touches.

Thomas was recruited in football by Rice, Baylor and North Texas. He was committed in baseball to Texas before changing to Oklahoma State. He is also a candidate to be drafted in the upcoming Major League Amatuer Draft, so the Cowboys will have to sweat that out.

As for his scholarship, right now it is baseball, which means he would have to play baseball first in college and could not play football for Oklahoma State this fall. He could practice and redshirt but not play in games. Now, if a scholarship became available in football his scholarship source could be switched to football allowing him to play this fall.

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