DE Jhaustin Thomas nearly commits to Florida Gators, also considering South Carolina, Alabama and Clemson

It's between Florida and South Carolina for Columbia HS two-sport standout Jhaustin Thomas (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

It's between Florida and South Carolina for Columbia HS two-sport standout Jhaustin Thomas (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

One of the Georgia’s top defensive ends has named four finalists.

However, Jhaustin Thomas, says its really down to two schools.

“It’s between Florida and South Carolina,” Thomas told the AJC on Saturday evening.

The 6-foot-6, 240-pounder from Columbia High School attended Will Muschamp Camp earlier this month, and admits he nearly committed on the spot to Florida.

“At first, I was going to do it,” Thomas said. “Then I decided I wanted to visit some other schools to have something to compare with Florida, and to be sure I’m making the right choice. Because once I commit, it’s over.”

Thomas plans to visit South Carolina in July, and possibly his two other finalists — Alabama and Clemson. He wishes to commit before the start of his senior season.

“It’s going to be interesting where he goes,” Columbia coach Mario Allen said. “I know Florida, from my understanding after talking with Jhaustin, I know he’s leaning toward Florida. But I don’t know what’s going to happen at the end. It’s his decision.

“I’ve been trying to encourage Jhaustin to consider committing this summer because once football season is over, he goes straight into basketball. He’s one of the better basketball players in Class AAA. He won’t have time [to take official visits] and see the schools like he really wants to do. We’ll see how it all pans out. He has a lot of upside, a lot of upside.”

What do the college scouts like about Thomas? “His size, how well he dominates, and how well he plays with his hands. He’s just an athlete. He’s a kid with great size and strength who can run.”

Thomas is one of Atlanta’s top two-sport athletes, also starring at forward for Columbia’s basketball team. Thomas was a rebounding machine, averaging 9.4 per game last season, while helping Columbia win the state championship. His will focus on football in college but would like to play basketball, too, if the opportunity is presented.

Thomas also claimed an early offer from UGA. Defensive end is one of Georgia’s deepest positions for college prospects in 2012. UGA already has commitments from two prospective defensive ends in Georgia Military junior college’s Jalen Fields and Jenkins County’s James DeLoach; Georgia Tech also has a pair with Lanier County’s Junior Gnonkonde and Central Gwinnett’s Francis Kallon (the transfer from London, England).

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog Got a recruiting item? mcarvell@ajc.com

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128 comments Add your comment

Bama Fan#2

June 26th, 2011
6:21 am

The gators and crimson tide have have taken football recruits from Georgia
like General Sherman destroyed the south in the northern invasion of the southern
states!!

slydog

June 26th, 2011
6:55 am

No big deal if he signs with Florida. He may be a star, a role player, or never see the field. Same thing if he went to UGA. Lets face it: they have to get quality players from somewhere, GA players on average are more intelligent and successful compared to those in their own states, and UGA can’t recruit all of these players hard all the time.

It Ain't Rocket Science

June 26th, 2011
7:07 am

Why would the young man want to commit to UGA even if they offered him since he would be buried in the depth chart and most likely ride the bench for a couple of years at least. Maybe Florida needs him more than Alabama does but that is not their concern at UGA. UGA is recruiting at the positions it needs, not for the class needs of 2014 or later.

Bama fan #2,
Most SEC schools get a lot of their athletes from Georgia. There just aren’t that many good high school kids to get from your state. Florida has a bunch of good athletes in their state as well, and a lot of them will go out of state. It doesn’t take a math major to figure out that if Georgia produces about 200 college eligible high school players each year, that they will not be able to keep them all in state. Even Saban couldn’t get enough red shirt exemptions to do that. It is a credit to the state of Georgia that they have so many good football players, that they have to go other states to get on a team. Maybe Alabama needs to beef up their high school programs, if the state has a lack of home grown talent. It certainly is not a discredit that Georgia does. I guess, looking at the way you look at it, Georgia athletes make your in state teams what they are, so you should be thanking us, not trying to find a way to say something negative about this state.

I wish the young man success where ever he decides to go. Make the best decision for yourself and study and play hard.

DawgFan285

June 26th, 2011
7:11 am

@ Bama Fan#2

Yes…you may get GA Recruits from time-to-time especially when UGA and Tech don’t have any room, which easily leaves 100+ available for the taken for all schools to pick from, but the question that no Bama fan cares to answer is how many of those recruits actually finish 4-years @ Bama. A scholarship there doesn’t gaurantee such a commitment by Bama as we all have seen everytime time we pick-up the newspaper or turn on ESPN. You’re lucky these recruits can’t just up and jump to another school without it costing them as easily as Saban can say, a scholarship is from a year-to-year basis…like a tryout.

freedyg

June 26th, 2011
7:15 am

rocket that was one the more intelligent posts I’ve read on here in a while.

freedyg

June 26th, 2011
7:17 am

“of”. Cellphone typing.

Beast from the East

June 26th, 2011
7:29 am

“GA players on average are more intelligent and successful compared to those in their own states”

slydog,
Have you read any news in the past 10 years? The state of Georgia routinely scores in the bottom 5 in the country for high school test scores. Are there bright kids in the state? Absolutely, but they’re not the norm.

WnE

June 26th, 2011
7:43 am

Losing players like this doesn’t hurt ug@, but it does hurt GT.

So far GT’s DE commits are very raw and inexperienced with one of them playing very little HS FB (Gnonkonde started playing FB late), and the other one from England having NEVER played in a HS Game, only Spring Practice.

At one point GT was very interested in this Recruit, but I guess he eliminated GT pretty quickly, to focus on “real FB Schools”.

Oh well, Coach Fish Fry might as well have been in the Honduras doing some good like CMR seeing as how he got rejected again by a Recruit from less than 30-min. away from GT’s campus in favor of an SEC School.

I’m wondering, considering all the elite talent in the Metro Atl. Area, is there a WORSE RECRUITER than CPJ in a BCS-Conf. given the talent that is within an hour of GT ’s campus?

WnE

June 26th, 2011
7:45 am

Can Kallon really be considered a “transfer” from London, England, when the fact is, he didn’t play any American HS FB while in England?

Bama Fan#2

June 26th, 2011
7:46 am

I pull for the dawgs after the crimson tide so I care about the state of
Georgia and love the braves to. Saban runs Alabama like a NFL
team and he graduates 2/3 of his players. A lot of football players
can not and will not put the effort that Saban asks of his players
to be in shape and going to class, RTR

Thomas T

June 26th, 2011
7:50 am

WnE

June 26th, 2011
8:02 am

re: Bama Fan#2

The NCAA Rules Manual Specifically states that SA’s should have their scholly’s RENEWED as long as they follow team rules and make the required Academic Progress, i.e. NO STUDENT ATHLETE should lose their scholly for on-field lack of performance or not “developing enough” to satisfy the Head Coach.

Your admission that Coach Satan runs his Program like an NFL Team with “Roster Mgmt.” is the problem that everyone has with Bama, other Colleges that follow the Rules aren’t doing the same things that Bama & the SEC-west is doing with their over-signing and running their teams (i.e. cutting players) like NFL Teams.

Other HCs have to “live with their Recruiting mistakes” until a SA Graduates, but at Bama, CNSatan simply ABUSES the medical hardship rule or finds some other way to run players off that the ETHICALS HCs that have to obey ETHICAL College Prezs and ETHICAL ADs simply CANNOT do at their Colleges.

For CNSatan this give him a HUGE ADVANTAGE over other HCs, which is why the SEC West and schools like Miss St. & Arky have seemingly come out of nowhere to play at a level they don’t normally play at.

At least you admit that CNS is running his Team like an NFL Team, the problem is, is that most Bama fans don’t realize that this is specifically mentioned as a no-no in the NCAA rules Manual.

Paul

June 26th, 2011
8:09 am

From reading slydog’s comment, he appears to be one from the “other state” cause his grammar is wrong and he’s just dumb.

stan

June 26th, 2011
8:10 am

@WnE what does this have to do with CPJ . worry bout your own team needs

WnE

June 26th, 2011
8:40 am

re: stan
@WnE what does this have to do with CPJ . worry bout your own team needs
—————————————————————————————————————–
@7:43am
Losing players like this doesn’t hurt ug@, but it does hurt GT.
__________________________________________________

I think I answered your question with my first sentence if you had cared to read it.

JB

June 26th, 2011
8:59 am

Georgia , other than maybe Florida. is the most fertile High School football recruiting ground in the South, if not the country. Now, The Dawgs have 18, maybe 20 spots next year and have 12 already committed. They have 8 spots left and those will be very position specific and 5 to 6 will be OL. Now, there are 25-30 “blue chippers” left in the State. They gotta go somewhere….and that will be Bama, Auburn,SC Tenn etc. Good luck to all of them, but you can’t LOSE something you never had or OFFERED !

It Ain't Rocket Science

June 26th, 2011
9:03 am

The spring roster of the 85 scholarship players on UGA’s team includes 53 players from Georgia, or 62%. If the full listed spring roster had been counted, I don’t think you would have seen much difference. This is just scholarship players, not walk ons.
Al. had a spring roster listing of 102 players and 11 from Georgia. a little better than 10%.
Auburn had a spring roster of 120 listed and 12 were from Georgia, 10%
Mississippi State with a spring roster of 130 had 5 Georgia players on it.
University of Mississippi with a spring roster listed at 99 players, also had only five.
Georgia techs. 2010 roster listed 89 players from Georgia, a pretty decent number for a team. They did not list a 2011 spring roster as far as I could find but I am sure it is out there on some site.
Kentucky and Vanderbilt had the most Georgia recruits for the team at 20 a piece.
I would say Georgia’s two major universities are keeping a fair amount of the home talent in state.
If you think these kids can’t look up rosters, just like I did and figure out depth at their position, then you are kidding yourselves.
I would say the final rosters of the SEC and Tech. teams will not show a whole lot different. You can have a total of 105 player all together with only 85 on scholarship.

rhall55

June 26th, 2011
9:14 am

Too bad UGA cannot stockpile players; when these H/S players go to out of state colleges, it helps these out of state schools recruit other players in the future (hurts the H/S pipeline to UGA); for example, when H/S players from the state of Ga go to Auburn for a visit, they are paired with Gabe Wright, Jeff Whitaker, etc and these guys put the sales pitch on; I would also!!! “Win BABY Win!!!” “You Snooze, You lose!!!”

Paddy

June 26th, 2011
9:17 am

WnE……your thoughts are well presented and an intelligent representation of what is happening with all football in the South.

JB….Calif. probably turns out more hs recruits that Fla or Ga. But who cares! The folks on the west coast don’t care about football like they should. They would rather ride bikes and eat sushi! A Left Coast fan would never consider killing a 100 yr old oak tree. Alabama should never have been admitted into the Stars and Bars when you think about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Beast from the East

June 26th, 2011
9:36 am

Paddy,
California, Texas, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana all are loaded with high school football players. UF, FSU, Miami, UGA, GT, LSU, all the Texas schools and all the California schools could field NC teams with kids strictly from their respective states. Problem is lots of kids want to “go away” to college and not stay at home. Plenty of talent to go around.

It Ain't Rocket Science

June 26th, 2011
9:39 am

Rhall,

What helps these recruits make their decisions are the record of the school they visit and where they will fit on a team. No kid is going to go to a school, where he will ride the pine for two years right off the bat. Most kids see themselves as starting from day one and as a future NFL player.
After these kids have been on the recruiting trail for a couple of months, they have been promised more, and feed more cow manure and they have figured out what they need to try and obtain their goals. Very few of them are going to make last minute decision or be swayed by the athletes already on a particular team. If I am a recruit, the last thing I would need to hear, is a guy already entrenched in the position I want to play, telling me how great this or that is. It is a numbers game and most of these kids can count and figure it out.

Football_365

June 26th, 2011
9:43 am

for the people who cry every time a guy leaves the state please help me out. There are 200+ fbs recruits in the state of georgia, uga only has about 18 to 20 scholarships for the 2012 class can you guys let me know how it is at all possible to even keep 1/4 of the prospects in state?

nub

June 26th, 2011
9:58 am

Message to Belly Slider of the east…. Why don’t you go troll with your own at the Orlando CENTinel…. or is it you are really a closet wANNa be DAWG …. bet you are wearing red and black right now….. no need to respond because it would be futher proof of my point that you want to come out of the closet and bark…….

D Bag Trolls!

June 26th, 2011
9:59 am

saban has let six go this year so far! If you are fb player looking to go to Bama BEWARE they will cut you in NY second if they feel like they may have a chance with someone else later.

Btw, UGA can not sign the 200 div 1 players it produces each year. The Dawgs are in good shape at this position. Good luck kid!!!!!

It Ain't Rocket Science

June 26th, 2011
10:04 am

If you look at the rosters for most of the SEC schools, you will usually find, except in a few instances, that their in state numbers are 50% or better. When states like Florida and Georgia produce such a high number of eligible players, there is no way they are going to keep them all in state. It is a numbers game, plain and simple.

Beast from the East

June 26th, 2011
10:04 am

Nub,
Your old lady give you that nickname?

Tossed Salad

June 26th, 2011
10:06 am

There are, by my count, at least 8 big-time DE from Georgia in this year’s class. UGA, Bama, and Florida don’t need them all nor can sign them all. The Gators are desperate for help on the defensive line, especially at end. UGA, not so. Personally, I’d rather this kid go to Florida than South Carolina.

Delbert D.

June 26th, 2011
10:08 am

I’ve never understood the hangup that some folks have with players leaving the state. What, exactly does “the state” have to do with anything? Allegiance to elected politicians? Perceived adherence to a way of life? In my experience, leaving the state of Georgia as a young man for 16 years to live and work in Chicago, northern and southern New Jersey, South Carolina, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and England vastly expanded my horizons.

wild one 13

June 26th, 2011
10:10 am

WnE, Coach Saban just enforces his rules. No coach should suspend a player 4 or 5 times like some coaches in the SEC. Don’t get me wrong, I know these are young men that tend to make some mistakes and I have no problem with them getting 2nd chances. I just feel that they are given a great education and a huge head start in their adult life and wish they would treasure it for what it is really worth. Roll Tide.

1eyedJack

June 26th, 2011
10:13 am

If the Dawgs can get at least 5 of this in-state group they’ll be just fine.

Geno Smith
Jordan Jenkins
Vadal Alexander
Josh Harvey-Clemons
Joe Harris
Jordan Watkins
Chaz Elder

brick

June 26th, 2011
10:14 am

Bamafan2, the state of Ga produces more well over 100 D1 athletes per year, UGA cannot sign 100 a year, heck even Bama has trouble signing that many, so they are going to go somewhere. And from the looks of things, Bama is having to go out of state to sign kids, the Barn is scooping up all the instate kids.

Stink Bomber

June 26th, 2011
10:18 am

MUSCRAMP AND SPURRIER WILL RUIN THIS ONE.

Stink Bomber

June 26th, 2011
10:19 am

GO, GET OUTTA HERE………..

wild one 13

June 26th, 2011
10:19 am

DB, can you name one player that has stated on the record that he has been cut or run off by Coach Saban??

He has rules and they are straight forward. The players will follow those rules or they will not play. All teams have a player or two get arrested from time to time doing something crazy but, Coach Saban has a very good track record in this dept. compared to some schools in the SEC.

Paddy

June 26th, 2011
10:20 am

Delbert D……..maybe the hang-up with players staying “in state” in Georgia has something to do with the loyality of its football fans. Fans from SoCal, Massachusetts, New England and Arizona for example, don’t care much if a local star player leaves to play elsewhere. In Georgia it is almost like disrespecting your moma to leave. Not saying it is a correct thought process. It is what it is. It is what makes Georgia football special. I too have lived and worked in Chicago, New York and Virginia; It is just not the same as the South.

Paddy

June 26th, 2011
10:23 am

No disrespect to Virginia; the Capital of the Confederacy!

RRTDawgs

June 26th, 2011
10:36 am

Bama commit RB Justin Taylor is wavering and will be taking some visits one and one of those visits is UGA why has Mr. Caevell has not mentioned this story yet from what i am hearing DawgNight is going to be huge .

FlaReptile

June 26th, 2011
10:39 am

Did slydog actually say Georgia has better football recruits than Floria? You are really crazy. You are worried about people from three or four states stealing your recruits. Think about what what the Florida schools go through.

Stink Bomber

June 26th, 2011
10:42 am

Delbert D.

June 26th, 2011
10:44 am

Paddy – From the “momma” point of view, very significant. Mine send me signed copies of Lewis Grizzard’s books as they came out.

Asleep at the wheel

June 26th, 2011
10:45 am

Funny though UGA gets its share of home grown top recruits but cant coach’em up. Spurrier, Saban, Muschamp and now even Dooley will raid the state of Georgia and coach up those top players that get away. Mark Richt, Rodney Garner and Boo Boo are clowns.

RRTDawgs

June 26th, 2011
10:45 am

UGA is going hard after Jordan Jenkins and probably K. Whitehead to from what i have heard about Jalen Fields is he is a beast .

nash

June 26th, 2011
10:47 am

The two Jordans will be playing at tech maybe even starting as freshman.

RRTDawgs

June 26th, 2011
10:51 am

We will see nash i will give you Watkins but UGA has been going hard after Jenkins would not be surprised to see him at DawgNight UGA and Tech will have to good seasons to .

GovClintonTyree

June 26th, 2011
11:02 am

As a Gator, I’m wondering if we ought to be going after a guy named “Doobie”.

SickandTired

June 26th, 2011
11:02 am

If you Georgia fans could just buy Mark Richt for what he’s worth and sell him for what you think he’s worth, we could balance the Federal Budget in Washington. Face it, he’s been an underachieving coach and losing recruits like this is tatmount to malfeasance. He’s paid handsomely to recruit and win football games, the same thing Saban is paid to do. Saban does his job well in a state that you Dawg fans readily admit has much less talent than the state of Georgia. How does he do it? He coaches the players he recruits to their maximum ability. Something Mark Richt fails miserably at….the only thing he does worse is maintain discipline. His example of good works doesn’t translate to his players…..Sad indeend….all that shows is they have no respect for him.

Red-N-Black

June 26th, 2011
11:03 am

Bama Fan#2

June 26th, 2011
6:21 am
The gators and crimson tide have have taken football recruits from Georgia
like General Sherman destroyed the south in the northern invasion of the southern
states!!

You must be from Aallllaabammmma because that is the stupidest comment seen on this board period. But I see where it’s necessary we have more talent in this state than bama does.

Paul in RDU

June 26th, 2011
11:09 am

I don’t understand all the comments about in-state kids. Did UGA fans not want Dominique because he was from NC? I am pretty sure that the fans will cheer for the players no matter which state they come from.

Delbert D.

June 26th, 2011
11:11 am

“Houston, we have a problem.” (Apollo 13 mission). Quotes from an article on the AJC.com site today. Read the last line of the 2nd paragraph first. Shocking.

“By the end of the month, 3,100 of the state’s newest math and science teachers will receive from $1,461 to $6,577 through an incentive plan put into law in 2009 and funded for the first time this year.”

“But with the economic downturn forcing spending cuts, including unpaid furlough days for teachers, lawmakers didn’t fund the incentives until earlier this year — well after the school year had started and long after then-Gov. Sonny Perdue sounded the alarm that in 2008 Georgia colleges produced only one physics teacher.”

wild one 13

June 26th, 2011
11:13 am

Truth be told, it’s a long time till national signing day and none of these verbal comits are carved in stone.
The SEC teams have 96 games to play, one conference championship game plus all the bowl games. Alot of things can happen to change these kids minds about where they want to play their college ball at. Coaches fired, hired, and NCAA investigations just to name a few!!
Is it Sept. yey?? Cause I’m ready for some football!!