Jhaustin Thomas, one of the state’s top defensive ends, committed to South Carolina on Saturday. He is commit No. 8 from the state of Georgia for Steve Spurrier’s 2012 college football recruiting class.
Thomas is a 6-foot-6, 240-pounder from DeKalb’s Columbia High School who was also hearing from Auburn, Tennessee and Alabama.
“South Carolina is getting a kid with a lot of upside,” Columbia coach Mario Allen told the AJC. “He’s still learning football and he’s still growing. But I think he will definitely be a kid who can probably help South Carolina in his first year. He’s 6-6, close to 6-7, and can run. He has a dominating presence on the football. South Carolina is getting a kid who will work hard and is going to come out and compete on a daily basis.”
Last week, Thomas was matched up against Cedar Grove offensive tackle Brandon Greene, who has committed to Alabama. “We move Thomas around to different spots along the defensive line, but when they went head-to-head against each other, Jhaustin got the best of him,” Allen said.
“Jhaustin is a having a pretty good senior season. Of course, everybody knows who he is, unlike last year, so he doesn’t have a same type of stats. So he’s getting double- and tripled-teamed every game. People are pretty much running away from him. But he still has been a dominant force.”
Why South Carolina? “I think they did the best job of recruiting Jhaustin,” Allen said. “They never swayed. South Carolina always made him feel like a priority. [South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward] did a great job of recruiting him. They developed a good relationship, they bonded, and that really swayed Jhaustin.”
Thomas also plays a basketball, and started at forward on Columbia’s state championship basketball team last year. He will be signing a football scholarship at South Carolina but may try to play both sports.
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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