Making the Grade

Jonathan Thomas received some good news on Tuesday when his SAT score came in. He discusses the news, reaction from the Syracuse coaches and has a message for teams that backed off.

Suwanee (Ga.) Collins Hills linebacker Jonathan Thomas signed with Syracuse on National Signing Day three weeks ago. While the Orange coaching staff was excited to have him as part of their class, there was still a question as to whether he would qualify academically.

Thomas worked hard to improve his academic standing. He got his grades in order but still needed one more thing in order to ensure his enrollment. On Tuesday, that question was erased when the three-star prospect received his SAT score.

"The math and reading combined, I got a 1040 on it," Thomas said. "When I first saw it, I didn't know if that was good enough. Then I told my coach and he started jumping around. I guess that was good.

"He told me that I did really good on it and I definitely qualified with that score. I was just shocked. It was a shocking moment. I was speechless."

After he learned the good news, Thomas informed the coaching staff that will be in charge of developing him over the next four or five years.

"I texted coach (Clark) Lea," Thomas said. "Next thing I know I'm getting all of these calls while I was in school. I couldn't pick up because I was in class. They started texting me. I got calls from Eric White, the director of recruiting, and Cole Dial. It was an exciting moment because of all of the support I got from you.

"It was great. Coach Lea went crazy. He called my mom and left her a message. It was cool."

Throughout the recruiting process, other schools backed off when academic issues arose. The Orange did not, and Thomas intends to make the others regret their decision.

"Syracuse is my family now," Thomas said. "They stuck by me when I went through some troubles. Because of that, I owe them everything. Any team that thought dropped me, when we play them, I'm hurting the quarterback. I'm coming after them."

With the academic questions answered, Thomas can now focus on getting ready for his arrival to Syracuse over the summer.

"My main focus is to come in and start," Thomas said. "I want to make an impact right away. Right now, I weigh 215. I'm trying to be around 225 by the time I get up to campus. Right now, I run a 4.48 40.

"I'm trying to get that down. I have great speed but I want to cut my 40-time down so I can get faster and make plays in open space."

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