Recruiting is a pretty fickle game most of the time. While there are some cases where a recruitment goes smoothly, with the player committing early, staying committed, and happily signing with that other school, those are rare, and more likely than not, a recruitment goes far deeper than just landing a commitment. Oklahoma has learned that the hard way this week, as for the second time this week, the Sooners lost a long-time commitment, as after losing Treveon Johnson on Saturday, they lost running back Tavion Thomas yesterday morning.
Hardest decision ever . pic.twitter.com/UsOi3cRTI5
— lackofworries🎈🎈 (@tavionthomas937) January 29, 2018
THE THOMAS FILE
With the loss of Thomas, Oklahoma is down to 22 commitments, as they also picked up a tight end (Brayden Willis) yesterday, preventing the number for dropping. While overall it doesn’t damage Oklahoma’s class a ton (they stayed put at seventh in the national rankings and second in the Big 12), the Sooners now have just TJ Pledger in the class at running back, and while there’s plenty of young talent on the team at the position, Thomas was more of a workhorse, every-down kind of back than his 5-foot-8 counterpart.
Thomas will likely shift his focus from Oklahoma to three or four schools: Ohio State, Cincinnati, Ole Miss and Kentucky. Thomas was long considered to be a Buckeye lean, but the two sides grew apart as some NCAA clearinghouse (grades) issues arose. Oklahoma was confident that Thomas would qualify, and at this point, I have no reason to think that Thomas was pushed out because he wouldn’t qualify at Oklahoma. Ohio State has been talking to Thomas quite a bit in the past week, as has Cincinnati, and the allure of being close to home is more than likely what caused this decommitment.
I had this to say about Thomas’ on the field impact back in his commitment piece:
“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.”