The fax is in and Florida State has defeated Miami (Fl) in the recruiting battle for five-star linebacker recruit Matthew Thomas. It literally went down to the wire as both the Seminoles and Hurricanes were biting their nails on the morning of National Signing Day waiting for the official decision by Thomas. Now the 6-foot-3, 205-pound linebacker will face Miami every season in a huge rivalry game between these two schools to try and prove he made the right decision.
At Booker T. Washington High School in Miami, Thomas was obviously a stud and the defense revolved around him. A lot of scouts said playing on a talented defense like the Seminoles’ might help Thomas develop faster as a player because he would theoretically not feel as much pressure to carry his teammates. Obviously he’ll be expected to play well from day one and make an impact for Florida State, but opposing offenses will likely pay more attention to guys like Seminoles senior linebacker Christian Jones and senior safeties Lamarcus Joyner and Terrence Brooks.
A guy like Jones can also help to expedite the growth of a young player like Thomas, who definitely didn’t have anyone on which he could lean at Booker T. Washington. He’ll be under pressure to become a star by his sophomore season when guys like Jones are gone, but a full year of reduced pressure will undoubtedly make Thomas a force in the ACC by 2014, if not before then.