March 4, 2011
Thomas remains firm to the Tide
A verbal commitment to the University of Alabama hasn't stopped other schools from recruiting Prattville quarterback Justin Thomas.
Thomas already has scholarship offers from other SEC schools including Auburn, Florida, LSU and Kentucky and says those schools are still talking to him despite his commitment. He recently picked up an offer from Florida State.
"I mean, it feels good because they're interested in me, but it hasn't changed anything," Thomas said. "Committing (to Alabama) just felt like it was the right thing to do. I wanted to go there, so I made my decision."
Prattville head coach Jamey Dubose said college coaches are still calling him and asking how firm his quarterback's commitment is and what's going on in the process, but Dubose believes nothing has changed.
"As far as I know, when a kid says he commits, he commits," Dubose said. "Justin has been committed to Alabama, and he's not come in and talked to me any differently."
At Prattville, Dubose tries to make his kids understand they should only commit if they really feel that's where they want to go to school.
"We try to tell our guys that once you commit to stay firm to your word, and don't commit unless you really mean it and you really want to go to school there."
The biggest question with Thomas once he gets to UA is what position he will play. Currently, Alabama is recruiting him as a quarterback, but he has the speed and athleticism to play any skilled position on the field.
"Right now, they're recruiting me as a quarterback," Thomas said. "I've been playing it ever since I was 4 or 5 years old. I haven't changed positions yet, so I'm going to try not to if I can."
Thomas played strictly at quarterback for Prattville last season, but Dubose believes he could play any skilled position you put him at because of his exceptional speed.
"I'm not going to make promises or say anything, but Justin Thomas, to me, is whatever you want him to be," Dubose said. "He's one of the fastest kids that I've ever been around. He's an exciting player. He's a leader. But the most impressive thing about him is the speed."
Prattville has at least four seniors-to-be on next year's team who Alabama has showed interest in. Thomas and Caleb Gulledge have already committed to the Tide, and defensive tackle Justin Shanks has the Tide among his top schools.
Athlete De'Ante Lawrence has offers from South Alabama, Southern Miss and UAB, and believes he may be close to getting an offer from Alabama. If he gets an offer, Thomas wouldn't be surprised if his teammate joins him at UA.
"There might be a good chance he comes to Alabama," Thomas said. "He was one of the guys that played ball with me and Caleb when we were young, so we ran together for awhile."
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