Cougs in top 5 for one of West's best

<b>KEVIN THOMAS</b>, a cornerback/receiver from Oxnard, Calif., figures to be one of the West Coast's most coveted prep prospects this season, and says it looks like Washington State will get the nod for his fifth and final official campus visit this fall.

"I now have offers from USC, Michigan, Washington, Washington State, Fresno State, Arizona, San Jose State, Cal, and Oregon State," Thomas told

"(USC) Coach (Pete) Carroll called me Tuesday night and said I have a full ride waiting for me at USC. I didn't expect this all to happen so fast. I just wanted to go to the camps and do the best I could and show the schools I could play.

"Things look like they are working out OK." Thomas excelled at the Long Beach MSL/ combine in March, the San Diego Nike Camp in April, and the Ventura County Coaches Combine this past weekend."

The 6-foot, 170-pounder initially thought he'd be a lock for USC, but now says all the attention from other top programs has caused him to step back a bit.

"I think I'm going to go through the whole process now and decide in February," he told "I want to take all of my visits to my top schools which are USC, Michigan, Cal, and Arizona. My fifth visit will probably be to Washington State," he said, noting that friend Charles Dillon is an incoming Cougar freshman.

There is also another person close to Thomas that may have an influence on his decision. "My brother, Andres, was just offered by San Jose State and Oregon State," Thomas said. "We've talked about going to the same school together and it would be nice, but it isn't certain, we can play alone on different teams and be ok." Big brother Andres plays cornerback for Santa Barbara Community College.

Thomas said that right now he is most comfortable with the USC staff because he has spent the most time with them and is familiar with the campus, plus, "They seem to have the best opportunity for playing time." Arizona is on the list because he likes the notion of being part of a rebuild.

Thomas also excels in track. He has run the 200 meters in 22-seconds flat. He will begin participating in spring practice next week. He said he will be at Cal's June 5 camp, as well as the Senior Camp at USC June 28-29. He is also considering the June 6 UCLA camp and taking a trip to the Arizona camp.

As a junior last season he had 21 receptions for 481 yards and one touchdown. On defense, he had 68 tackles, three intereptions, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He was named first team all-league and all-county on defense.

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