Matthew Thomas signed his Letter of Intent with Florida State as Rivals.com’s No. 2-rated outside linebacker nationally. A five-star recruit, Thomas was arguably the crown jewel of Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher’s 2013 recruiting class.
However, practically as soon as the ink was dry on Thomas’ LOI, the young star had changed his mind and no longer wanted to lace them up for the Garnet and Gold.
At 6-foot-3, 205 pounds and running a 4.59-second 40-yard dash, Thomas would be a huge addition to any collegiate roster. However, Fisher and the Noles have refused to release Thomas from his LOI. The coaching staff has also refused to lift a recruiting ban on Thomas, meaning other schools aren’t even allowed to speak to the young man.
That has not kept Thomas from making a decision as to where he would like to eventually play his college ball. He has gone on record as having felt pressure from his family to remain close to his native Miami home.
But he wants to go play for the USC Trojans, way out on the other side of the country.
“He made a decision for himself. It’s USC,” Thomas’ father, Billy, told ESPN.com’s Joe Schad.
“No disrespect to Florida State but Matthew is willing to take the punishment if there is one,” Billy Thomas said. “He’s hoping Jimbo will let him go.”
If Fisher does not release Thomas from the Letter of Intent, there are still a few ways the linebacker can head out to USC and play. First would be to enroll as a regular student and sit out the year. However, that method would cost him a year of eligibility.
Another means would be to go the junior college route. Should Thomas choose to play at a two-year college, he would not lose any eligibility and would be able to sign with USC as a member of the 2014 class.