Florida Athlete Adds Name to List

West Virginia's bowl trip to Jacksonville may not have wound up with the desired results on the field, but the Mountaineers have gotten some great news from the First City with the commitment of a big multi-skilled athlete.

Sabree Thomas, who took an official visit to WVU in January, liked what he saw. So much so, that he has become West Virginia's latest football verbal commitment.

"When I went up there, I liked the surroundings, and I really liked how they cared for their teammates," the soft-spoken Floridian said. "I really liked West Virginia, and my mom and family do to. That was where they wanted me to be, and where I wanted to be, so I thought it was best for me to go ahead and commit. Plus, I have some relatives up north that should have a chance to come see me play."

Thomas has family in Philadelphia, Virginia Beach, and Charlotte, so he about has the map covered in that respect. In addition to Morgantown, they should be able to catch him play several of WVU's road games as well.

While family was important, it wasn't the only factor in Thomas' decision.

"I like the environment up there," Thomas said. "It will give me a chance to study and focus on my work."

That echoes earlier statements from Thomas, who noted that the environment around the WVU campus was one that he enjoyed.

A physical blocker from his tight end position in high school, Thomas could play that position at West Virginia, but he also could be an outstanding defensive end or even an offensive lineman. His naturally aggressive on-the-field demeanor, which allowed him to record approximately 40 pancake blocks during his senior season, would obviously come into play at any of those spots.

"I like tight end, but I will play anywhere," Thomas said. "The coaches told me they want to look at me at several different spots, so anywhere I can get on the field, that's o.k. I think being able to play more than one position will help me do that."

Although Thomas played sparingly on defense in high school, his physical attributes (6-4, 270 lbs., 4.7) make him a great candidate for any number of positions in college.

Thomas chose WVU over offers from Florida, Southern Miss, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Indiana. He cancelled a scheduled trip to Cincinnati this past weekend before committing to WVU.

Thomas, who was nominated for the U.S. Army All-Star game in San Antonio, is participating in the Shrine Bowl All-Star game in Orange Park, Fla. this weekend. The game is a statewide north-south matchup.

"The coaches got me becuase I am an aggressive player," Thomas said. "I'm a good blocker, and I think they saw that."

Thomas has not yet qualified, but has a core GPA of 2.5. He is scheduled to take the SAT again on January 22.

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