Utah joined Boise State, Texas Tech, Colorado, Illinois, and Texas State in that top six. Scout caught up with Thomas early Monday morning following Lancaster (Texas) High School's "Midnight Madness" kickoff practice to learn more about his interest in Utah.
The 5-foot-9, 160-pound Thomas said receivers coach Guy Holliday recruits him for the Utes. Holliday is a familiar name when covering recruits in Texas considering he recruited the region in his previous job at BYU.
"He talks to me all the time," Thomas said of Holliday.
In addition to Holliday, Utah quarterback commit Jason Shelley appears to have made Thomas a high priority for the Utes' 2017 recruiting class.
In fact, Thomas, who released his top six at 7:17 p.m. Sunday, said he heard from Shelley right after naming those six schools.
"He texts me and tells me he would love for me to come to Utah with him," Thomas said. "He Snapchatted me earlier when I put my top six out, and he was like, 'Man, I would love for you to come to Utah with me.'
"(Shelley) is a good friend of mine. He’s pretty good. (Utah's staff) said they would love us as a duo, so that’s why I’ve got to keep an eye on Utah."
Thomas noted that he "will definitely visit" Boise State and Texas Tech, but also emphasized that he wants to find weekends to visit the other four schools in his top six as well.
The 2016 season should be a big one for Thomas, who enjoyed a breakout junior year as he led his team in receptions and receiving yards.
In 2015, Thomas caught 54 passes for 943 yards and finished second on his team with 11 touchdown grabs as Lancaster reached the Texas Class 5A Division II state quarterfinals with a 10-4 record. The only Lancaster pass-catcher to snag more TD's was Omar Manning, the No. 1 receiver in Texas for 2017.
Stick with Scout as we continue to monitor any developments in Thomas' recruitment.
Below is Scout's evaluation of Thomas:
Cartrell Thomas is an FBS-caliber receiver prospect who's at home in the slot but can also move around the formation and line up just about anywhere at the high school level. Impressive leaper who high-points the ball to win red-zone matchups. Jumping ability helps to compensate for lack of height/size.
A competitor, unafraid to test the middle of the field. He can improve his top-end speed, but that said, Thomas plays faster than he tests at camps/combines and does not show any lack of speed playing against very good competition in Texas' Class 5A in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
Stretches the field vertically, especially when lined up outside. Gains a lot of yardage after the catch. Potential to wind up as a Power Five conference signee. -- Gabe Brooks
Below are junior-season highlights of Thomas:
Below are 7-on-7 clips of Thomas from earlier this summer:
Below are clips of Thomas from March at The Opening Dallas:null