USC was one of the schools in heavily on DE Mason Thomas (6-3 225) of Fort Lauderdale last year, and in fact had him in for an official visit in June. But despite the best efforts of head coach Shane Beamer, defensive coordinator Clayton White and position coach Mike Peterson, Thomas opted to commit to Iowa State in July.
However, he did not sign last month, and the Gamecocks have not given up the fight to sign him next month.
“I’m still kind of open but I’m taking all my visits, but I’m still committed to Iowa State,” Thomas said. “They (USC) do daily checkups. Coach Peterson has been hitting me up, just keeping in contact with me. They want me as that edge rusher. They are just making sure they stay in it till the end.”
Thomas visited USC unofficially with some teammates in the middle of June, then returned ten days later for his official visit. With a first-year head coach and new staff, Thomas was a little unsure of the Gamecocks at that point. After watching them this season, he’s a little more certain about them.
“I feel OK about them,” Thomas said. “I went up there on a visit. I’ve been there twice. I especially wanted to see their first season under coach Beamer. That really opened my eyes to South Carolina.”
Thomas is scheduled for an official visit to Oklahoma January 14th, and he’s looking at LSU or Miami for another official visit this month. He’s also taken one to Iowa State. He said he will take his final decision to within a few days of the February National Signing Day, if not to the day itself on February 2nd.
This season Thomas said he was in on 62 tackles with 12 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss.