Big Win Leads to Big Commitment for Buckeyes
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Michael Thomas—the nephew of former NFL standout Keyshawn Johnson—has decided where he will play his college ball.
All it took was a trip to the Horseshoe and a last-minute touchdown pass from Ohio State’s freshman quarterback Braxton Miller to cement his decision.
The 6-4 receiver out of Woodland Hills, Calif. was on the sideline Saturday night as Buckeye fans rushed the field following OSU’s 33-29 upset of No. 15 Wisconsin. A day later, Thomas announced his commitment to Ohio State, where he will join Fork Union Military Academy teammate Cardale Jones in 2012.
Thomas admitted to a number of recruiting services that he had been a silent verbal to the Buckeyes for some time, but was waiting on the final ruling from the NCAA. That changed after his trip to Columbus with Jones, who was already committed to the Buckeyes.
Both players were actually prospects in the class of 2011, but opted to spend a semester at FUMA to improve their academic status. Jones is considered to be Ohio State’s quarterback in the class of 2012 and now Thomas gives them a big-time receiver to compliment the former Glenville quarterback.
Thomas played his high school ball at Taft and was relatively unknown until his senior year. He had to sit out his junior season because of CIF transfer rules, but it didn’t take long for schools to take notice once he returned to the field last season.
He picked up double-digit offers during his senior season while posting monster numbers for Taft. He caught 82 passes for 1,756 yards and 22 touchdowns, which was good enough to earn him a spot on the Under Armour All-America team.
His best offers at the time were from schools like California, Oregon, Oregon State, Pittsburgh and Louisville, but he had already picked up offers from Notre Dame, Nebraska, Oklahoma State and UCLA the second time around.
Thomas joins a 2012 Ohio State class that already includes a pair of wide receivers in Frank Epitropoulos (Upper Arlington) and Roger Lewis (Pickerington Central). Both are considered to be consensus 3-star prospects, but the Buckeyes could also add another big-time target in Dwayne Stanford. The 6-5 wideout from Cincinnati Taft High School also visited Columbus this past weekend along with teammate Adolphus Washington for the big primetime matchup with Wisconsin under the lights.
Both players are considered to be Ohio State leans, although Stanford still plans to make a visit to Oregon before announcing his decision later this year.
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