Well would you look at that? I mentioned in my article right before the Florida-Alabama game back in September that the elite pass rusher who was committed to Florida at the time would be in Bryant-Denny Stadium that weekend. Not too long after, Thomas made a couple of very positive comments about the Tide, and soon after de-committed from the Gators. I continued to follow Thomas, and claimed a couple of weeks ago in my Linebackers article that I fully expected Thomas to commit to the Tide soon.
Even a blind dog finds a bone every once and a while, eh?
Anyway, here's his measurables:
|Last Name||First Name||Position||State||Stars||National Rank||Position Rank||Height||Weight||40-Yard Dash||20-Yard Shuttle||Vertical Jump||Power Throw||SPARQ||Z-Score|
Speed is the name of the game here. In his first two years of high school, Thomas was a safety that managed to unofficially run a 4.39 forty while he was still 195 pounds. His coach started to notice that Thomas's frame was filling out, and moved him to linebacker. He also has experience on offense, but prefers his defensive role.
"I prefer playing defense over anything," Thomas said. "I can score a touchdown when needed, but that’s not me. … I think you have to know what’s going on more on defense. The offense has a play they run, but on defense you have to stop the play and read things faster. I enjoy the mental part of playing defense. … It’s been a good transition to linebacker. Playing safety, I can recognize things more now that I’ve moved up to linebacker. A lot of times at safety you can get lost because you’re so far off the ball. You don’t really get that much action. I like playing linebacker because you’re always in the middle of things."
At this point as a pass rusher, Thomas does not have anything in his rushing repertoire besides a speed rush, albeit a very speedy speed rush. If he wants to be a pass rushing end at the next level, he will have to bulk up and work on his disengaging techniques. He looks very similar as a rusher as Tim Williams did coming out of high school. He is very effective as a blitzer, and his team moves him all over to attack different gaps in the line to get him a free path to the QB. Thomas can close any distance faster than I can blink.
He shows a powerful tackling ability with an impressive lower body drive you would not expect from a 220 pounder. He can run down running backs and receivers down the field, and also keep them from reaching the sideline on stretch plays. His speed and aggressiveness can cause him to take bad angles fairly often though, and at the college level he won't be able to recover from those bad choices.
He also shows a very strong coverage ability for a linebacker, which stems from his experience as a safety. He makes decisions fairly quickly, but could definitely still improve his time in that area.
Thomas will have to add some size to be a jack linebacker or 9-technique end for Alabama, but could play more of a situational pass rusher like Rashaan Evans until then. He's also the type of guy who I would bet will make a name for himself on special teams the next couple of years.
Most importantly, the name Adonis comes from the Greek god of beauty and desire, and was the central figure for many woman-only religions.
His commitment is good news, as a pure pass rusher was definitely needed in this class. Receiver Daylon Charlot is rumored to have unofficially de-committed today (no confirmations yet), so Thomas's pledge will help make sure the Tide keeps a stranglehold on the top spot. It's a bit superficial, but not meaningless. Check out Bud Elliot's article about high level-recruiting from earlier today.
Lets enjoy the break. Roll Tide.