I hinted earlier this week that it could be a big couple of days for Oklahoma. They still have some key visits upcoming, but the first domino has now fallen, as Dunbar, Ohio running back Tavion Thomas committed to the Sooners moments ago. Thomas’ recruitment has been an odd one to follow, as the powerful halfback has been thought of as a lean to several different schools over the last few months, including Alabama, Ohio State, West Virginia, and as of today, Oklahoma.
— lackofworries🎈🎈 (@tavionthomas937) June 20, 2017
THE THOMAS FILE
Thomas is the 11th commitment in Oklahoma’s 2018 class, and the second running back, along with TJ Pledger. There should be no concerns about losing Pledger however, because he and Thomas are vastly different running backs. Thomas is much more of a workhorse, while Pledger will likely end up as an h-back in Norman (or Nompton, as the #teens say).
Thomas chose Oklahoma over a bunch of offers; including Oregon, Texas, USC, West Virginia, Michigan, Nebraska, Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Ohio State, among pretty much every other power five team in college football. Thomas’ recruitment blew up back in March, and for a few days he was on commitment watch for Ohio State. However, that fell apart after some questions on Ohio State’s side about his academic eligibility, and the Buckeyes moved on to Master Teague. The next favorite was West Virginia, though their lead evaporated when Lincoln Riley became Oklahoma’s head coach. Thomas is one of Lincoln’s favorite recruits in the 2018 cycle, and a guy he spent a ton of time personally recruiting to Oklahoma. That obviously paid off.
On the field, Thomas is a true power back, which is becoming increasingly rare in the current college football layout. He has fantastic size, and uses that size, along with lineman like strength to destroy defenses. He’s not going to make too many guys miss, but he doesn’t really need to, because he can usually run right through everyone that isn’t a defensive lineman. He runs a little bit too upright sometimes, and will need to improve his ability to make guys miss at some point, but for right now, he’s a raw running back with a lot of potential, and a lot of the things that can’t be taught. His ceiling comparison is Todd Gurley.