NSD Scouting Report: Orlando Thomas

One-by-one, we'll take a look at every member of the Texas recruiting class.

Coaches always say that cornerback is one of the hardest positions to evaluate at the high school level. First, there aren't that many elite-level passing games out there that pair a high-level BCS quarterback with a BCS wide receiver. And if a team does a have a great cornerback, other schools tend to simply avoid throwing his way.

So instead of looking for the best cornerback, per se, teams look for the best cornerback-type athlete. And that's where Orlando Thomas comes in. See Thomas isn't a cornerback, at least not yet, but he shows the gifts that should make him an able cornerback once he learns the nuances of the position.

Thomas stands out on film because of the way he changes direction and accelerates, two of the main things you look for in a cornerback. Playing a zone-read quarterback for Copperas Cove, Thomas is simply lightning in a bottle. He has jet-quick feet, is awfully shifty and shows nice body control.

In that way, Thomas is quite a bit like 2011 signee Mykkele Thompson. Both are absolute dynamite with the ball under their arms. And both will lend speed and playmaking ability to the secondary. But Thompson probably has more pure speed (and size) than Thomas, while Thomas is probably the better player in terms of shiftiness, body control and change-of-direction.

You never really know how a player will project to another position. But Thomas shows the skill set to be a very good cornerback, and enrolling early should help him get more individual attention and work toward that end.


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