Texas Tech surprised nearly everyone when they raided TCU’s 2015 recruiting class by flipping J.F. Thomas at the last-minute. The four-star wide receiver out of Dallas, TX, was the Red Raiders fifth blue chip, and a big get for Kliff Kingsbury and company. According to 247 Sports though, Thomas may not be going to Lubbock, TX, after all. It looks like he may be headed to Trinity Valley Community College instead.
A source at Trinity Valley said it’s “more than a coin flip [Thomas is] coming [to Trinity Valley]” and that the team feels “like it’s a good chance that he’s playing for Trinity Valley in the fall.”
The holdup for Thomas, the Trinity Valley source said, is passing one portion of his STARR and receiving a high-enough SAT score to balance his GPA. The source added the Red Raiders would wait as long as possible to see whether Thomas qualifies.
It’s a big blow to the Raiders. At 6′ 4″, Thomas was a tall receiver with good hands, and speed. Losing him bumps Tech’s 2015 class from the third best in the Big 12 to the seventh.
As big of a blow as it is for the Red Raiders, it’s a tough setback for Thomas as well. Grades were a known issue for play-maker, but understandably so. During his senior year he was not only balancing school with football and the recruiting process, he was also having to find time to do homework in between daily trips to Baylor University Medical Center. In August of 2014, just days before the football season got underway, Temekia Boggas, Thomas’ mother, was placed on life support after suffering a heart attack.
At least every other day, as summer transitioned to fall and winter neared, Thomas came to Baylor to be at his mother’s bedside, often bringing his homework.
“[Doctors] told us she could hear us,” Thomas said. “She could hear us, but she couldn’t see us or talk to us.”
There were many updates to share as Thomas and his Bears teammates overcame an 0-3 start and made a playoff push. J.F., the youngest of Boggas’ four children, said he had two standing requests.
“I just told her to get better soon,” he said, voice cracking and tears suddenly streaming down his cheeks. “And I told her I wanted her to make a football game.”
Recalling those painful moments, Thomas sat in the office of South Oak Cliff football coach Emmett Jones. Before another word could be said, Jones gently interrupted.
“We’ve got you,” he told Thomas. “Understand what I’m saying? We’re with you.”
After the season ended, Emmett Jones became Texas Tech’s director of player development, and after an official visit, Thomas decided to follow the high school coach that had shown him so much support across the state of Texas. Unfortunately that plan may have to be put on hold for now.