The dead period continues thru the end of May but that hasn’t stopped the shoe companies and recruiting networks from staging camps around the country. Those camps provide recruiters an opportunity to check out prospects on film. That’s exactly how USC defensive coordinator Clayton White came across DE Mason Thomas (6-3 225) of Fort Lauderdale and then jumped into the recruiting battle for him.
“The defensive coordinator reached out to me and he was the one who offered me,” Thomas said. “I’ve been talking to him the most. He was talking to me about the UA (Under Armour) camp. He saw my camp tape and my forty yard dash and all the events I ran. He saw my measurables. When he called me, he was telling me about that camp.”
Thomas said White identified one characteristic in him that all recruiters are looking for in pass rushing defensive ends.
“My speed,” Thomas said. “I ran a 4.8 at the UA camp. I was one of the fastest times. I was 215 (pounds) at the time but I’m 222 now, so I’m getting bigger, strong and faster. He liked that. And my ability to get to the quarterback.”
Last season Thomas recorded 45 tackles with 15 tackles for loss, 7 sacks and 1 interception in just 8 games.
The Gamecocks are just getting started with Thomas. He’s not yet done a virtual visit and he’s not sure yet if he’ll scheduled an official visit. USC is his first SEC offer, so that’s big to him.
“I like that they play the best teams in the best conference,” Thomas said. “I like the competition they are going up against to win a national championship. I think they’re going in the right direction to do that.”
Other offers for Thomas include Iowa State, Penn State, Pitt, Boston College, Illinois, Colorado State, East Carolina, Syracuse, Washington State, Western Kentucky, Indiana and South Dakota. He has set an official visit to Iowa State for June 4th. He cited Syracuse, Illinois, Washington State, East Carolina, Pitt and Penn State as the others that have been recruiting him hard.
Thomas said he’s looking at the end of his season as the timeline for making his season. He’s not sure yet if he’ll sign early or in February.
- SAF Jyvonte McClendon of Lakeland, FL sets official with USC for June 12th. He has listed the Gamecocks and Miami as two of his favorites. He also has offers from Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Cincinnati and Georgia Tech.
- USC target DT Felix Hixon of Jackson, GA was offered by Michigan.
- USC target OT Ryan Brubaker of Stevens, PA took a personal visit to Penn State over the weekend. His dad played there. He’s scheduled for an official to USC June 11th. He plans to visit Ole Miss for the spring game this Saturday.
- Clemson made the top 15 with DE DJ Wesolak of Boonville, MO. The others on his short list are Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, LSU, Arizona State, Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon, Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Miami, Alabama, Auburn and Texas A&M.
- Hammond OT Drew Bobo has set an official visit to Virginia June 18th.
- ATH Dequandre Smith of Spring Valley was offered by Georgia Southern.
- TE Jake Johnson of Watkinsville, GA, who had offers from USC and Clemson, committed to LSU. He’s the brother of LSU QB Max Johnson and the son of former NFL QB Brad Johnson.
- Clemson offered 2023 6-7 Tyler Ringgold of Baton Rouge. Houston, Texas A&M and Ole Miss are some other offers.
- Indiana offered 6-9 Noah Clowney of Dorman.
- 6-9 Robert Braswell of Blythewood is transferring from Syracuse to Charlotte. He’ll join former Clemson guard Clyde Trapp with the 49ers.