Florida State signee Matthew Thomas wants out. He is seeking a release from his scholarship and is looking at Georgia and USC as possible destinations after feeling pressure to pick the Seminoles from his mother prior to national signing day.
Thomas told Manny Navarro from the Miami Herald, “What happened was on Signing Day [was] I wasn’t sure who I wanted to sign with. I had issues with different schools. But when I told my mom I didn’t want to sign with anybody and wait and give it a few days she said I couldn’t do that. She said, ‘FSU is a good school – pick them. It’s close to home.’ I wasn’t agreeing with it. But I felt like I was being disrespectful to her if I didn’t sign. So I made her happy.
This is an unfortunate situation where Thomas didn’t make the decision that should have been his in the first place, and now he finds him in a tough situation. Florida State is sending coaches down to south Florida to visit Thomas and convince him that Tallahassee is the place for him as they don’t seem too keen on releasing him from his scholarship.
Thomas has spent the last few months trying to convince himself that he can call himself a Seminole to no avail, so I don’t think a visit from the coaches will do much to sway those beliefs. I think it would be awfully petty of Jimbo Fisher and Florida State if they forced Thomas to suck it up and play for the team when he doesn’t feel comfortable there.
I can also see the fan base getting upset with Thomas. He should be a man of his word and suit up or have to sit out a year before he can play for another school. If he stays within the conference he would have to sit out this year, but I don’t think that applies to schools outside of the ACC.
“I just want to go have fun and play football,” Thomas tells Navarro.
Thomas says he has family in Georgia and the Bulldogs could make room for the No. 6 overall prospect according to ESPN last year and the No. 2 outside linebacker according to 247Sports composite rankings. USC was believed to be the runner-up to the Seminoles in February, but I’m not sure if they would still have room for him considering their limited scholarship dilemma.
The five-star recruit has to do what is best for him and not what others feel is best for him. The 6’3.5’’, 210-pound Miami native will never have the opportunity to decide where he wants to play after he enrolls at college, so he may as well get it right now. He doesn’t want to get stuck at a place where he is unhappy and have to sit out a year in the middle of his college career which could derail his hopes for a professional career.
I applaud Thomas for making the difficult decision to risk being a pariah in his native state to do what he feels is best for him. Too often people are influenced by outside forces rather than going with their gut and what they feel is right. It’s not those people that have to live his life and while they may have their best interest at heart, it’s Thomas that has to ultimately live with the decision.
There is never a dull moment when it comes to recruiting.