|Noles Recruit Wants Out Already
|By Fred Perdue
May 9, 2013
Five-star linebacker Matthew Thomas (Miami/Booker T. Washington) is the crown jewel of
Florida State's recent recruiting class. The Seminoles were believed to have lured Thomas
away from the hometown Miami Hurricanes.
Whatever Florida State was able to accomplish recruiting Thomas, he is no longer interested in
playing for the Seminoles. And he doesn't want to play closer to home.
"Booker T. Washington linebacker Matthew Thomas said Monday he is seeking a release from
his scholarship so he can sign with Georgia or USC," Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald
Florida State will attempt to convince Thomas to stay before he is given the opportunity to
transfer. The Seminoles may even decide to play hardball with Thomas.
"At this point, my guess is that FSU would turn down the release request because (1) it didn't
force Thomas to sign there and (2) his reason for the request is not for more compelling
reasons, such as to play closer to home or to be near an ill family member, etc," Michael Carvell
of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote. "There's a lot of public sympathy there. However, if
Thomas sticks by his guns and this drags into the summer, it could turn into a public relations
nightmare for FSU and the NCAA."
ESPN RecruitingNation's Kipp Adams agrees with Carvell.
"Highly doubt FSU releases (Thomas). Expect them to visit his family soon," Adams tweeted.
If Florida State won't release Thomas from his scholarship, he can file an appeal with the
NCAA's Eligibility Center.
If the Seminoles' staff eventually releases Thomas from his letter of intent, Georgia may be the
“I’ve been in Miami all my life," Thomas told Navarro. "Georgia needs linebackers. It’s a big
program. I have family in Georgia."
Thomas' family is now believed to be behind the linebacker's decision to transfer after initially
pushing him towards Florida State. But, USC is still a long way from home. Georgia may be the
perfect compromise for Thomas and his family.
Florida State, meanwhile, will have two options at their disposal if Thomas leaves the program.
"Well, attention will turn in earnest to continuing to build the 2014 recruiting class, and perhaps
looking for another elite linebacker who could take Thomas' place on the roster a year late,"
Coley Harvey of the Orlando Sentinel wrote. "Since April, four-star linebacker from Jacksonville,
Kain Daub, has been one of the Seminoles' most firm 2014 commitments.
"There is also the junior college route, or even the Division I route. The Seminoles could add
another player to the 2013 roster from another FBS school if that player has or will be
graduating during this spring's commencement exercises."