Mobile DE picks Ole Miss

The Rebels picked up a big time defensive end commitment on Wednesday from one of Mississippi's best in Markell Lee and now they have garnered one of Alabama's top ends.

"I went to visit Ole Miss on April 26th, and I knew then that I wanted to commit. I just did not know when I was going to do it," added Mike Thomas. "Then I spoke to Coaches Nutt, Dickerson, and Rocker on the phone Tuesday night and I decided to go ahead and do it. It was my birthday that day, so it just felt right to go ahead and do it."

What was the reaction from the Ole Miss coaches?

"Coach Nutt said to get ready to get on the field early. That is what I wanted to hear. I really have been ready to commit to them ever since I visited them because it has that family feel to it. I like their staff. Instead of it being just a business relationship, it is more of a family relationship. They talk to you like you are their own son. The other (colleges) treat you like a player."

Mike was actually set on an instate school before he decided on Ole Miss?

"At the beginning, it was all about Auburn. They send me hand written letters every day, and we talk a lot. But after I took my trip to Ole Miss, I knew I wanted to be a Rebel. I like the town. It is not a city but just a college town. It is real laid back. And all of the players and coaches are close."

How solid is Thomas with his commitment?

"I am pretty set on Ole Miss. I do not think there is a possibility that I am going to decommit. I went to Auburn, LSU, Louisville, and Ole Miss to tour their campuses, and they all had about the same things. Some schools might have had a bigger stadium that otherst, but they were all basically the same. But none of them felt like Ole Miss. I feel like I belong at Ole Miss, so I am going to take it from here."

Who else was heavily involved with Devin's recruitment?

"Well, the LSU coaches were actually like 15 feet away from me when I committed to Ole Miss on the phone on Tuesday (laugh). They came to see me at school that day and were sitting in the office with my coach right next to the office I was sitting in talking to the Ole Miss coaches. LSU has been on me hard. And Auburn, like I said, I had a good relationship with those guys. They were probably the closest to offering me next. Louisville has also been very consistent with me. I also received a lot of interest from Alabama, Mississippi State, Duke, Colorado, North Carolina, and Illinois, but I would say those four schools have been the most consistent with me."

If a lot of Alabama residents are not too familiar with Mike Thomas, there is a reason why?

"We just moved from Pensacola (FL) to Mobile last summer. It was my first season to play for St. Pauls."

St. Pauls is one of the premier programs in the state of Alabama and Thomas made an immediate impact for the State Champions.

"I had 110 tackles, 17 for losses, 8 1/2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 recovered fumbles. I played every play as hard as I could, but this offseason I am working my speed and stamina. I had nose surgery two weeks after the state championship game. I had a bunch of problems with my breathing so I am trying to get my endurance up by breathing better through my nose instead of my mouth. I am already seeing a big difference. I can't wait to see what it does for me next season."

When you watch Mike on film, you can tell that he excels in the running game, and Thomas agrees.

"I play well in both the pass and run, but I am better in the run game. I play real physical. Hopefully this offseason, I will get a little quicker off of the edge. I am running a 4.8 right now, and I want to get that down in the 4.6's."

The 6' 4", 245 pound defensive lineman has already set some goals for his senior season.

"I want to have at least 120 tackles, 20 sacks and make the All-State and MS/AL All-Star teams."

Mike reports a 2.5 GPA and made a 16 on the first ACT attempt but will retake it in June.

"I am not going to any camps this summer. I know where I am going to college now. This summer will be all about getting my game better and taking care of my ACT score."

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