Three-for-three. On Feb. 13, Oklahoma offered three in-state prospects for the 2017 class. That final member committed to the Sooners on Saturday.
Tulsa Memorial defensive end/outside linebacker Isaiah Thomas announced via Twitter he has become the latest member of OU’s SoonerSquad17.
Thomas, listed at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds and ranked No. 38 in the nation at defensive end, picked the Sooners over Alabama, Baylor, Missouri, Oklahoma State, among others. He is the initial commitment for first-year defensive line coach Calvin Thibodeaux.
“I think it’s that he’s such a good person,” said Tulsa Memorial coach Ryan Reed about what makes him so special. “When college coaches come in, it’s their job to tell me if he can play at OU or Alabama, schools like that. What I can tell them is he’ll never embarrass them. He’s a great kid.”
Reed would know. He coached Thomas’ uncles back in the day and has known OU’s newest commitment since Thomas was 5 years old. But count Reed in among those who had no idea this was going to be possible.
Thomas was invited to Norman on Feb. 13, the weekend of OU’s major basketball game against Kansas. The Sooners offered Thomas, OKC John Marshall defensive back Justin Broiles and Tulsa Union cornerback Tre Brown in person.
Broiles and Brown committed in May, but the prevailing thought was Thomas would eventually join the squad as well.
Thibodeaux played a major role in that with Thomas saying last week he views Thibodeaux as a father figure and a father-son relationship.
Thomas is OU’s 13th commitment for a class that is ranked second in the Scout rankings and the fourth from the state to go with Broiles, Brown and Collinsville linebacker Levi Draper.
“His brain,” said Reed about Thomas’ biggest asset as a player. “It’s a different answer, but it’s what I believe. He’s such an explosive athlete and always finds himself in a good situation because he’s so smart.”
It took a while for Thomas to emerge, but once he did, he exploded in a hurry. Zero offers at the start of February, Thomas is near the 20-offer mark right now and most likely would have more but schools started to realize he was starting to become locked in with his decision.
Thomas said he wanted to make his choice before his senior season started, and it became clear OU was the favorite since he had visited OU more than any other school.
With the commitment locked up, Thomas is ready to be the team leader for the Chargers, and he’s already started in that regard.
“He’s still the same guy,” Reed said. “If anything, all of this attention has made him take this year even more seriously. You see him out here helping the younger guys, helping them get lined up and things like that. The great ones do those things.”
Thomas could easily become an outside linebacker for the Sooners when it’s all said and done. His position is unknown but his talent isn’t and OU knew it couldn’t wait any longer.