The Texas Longhorns have added another big piece along the offensive line with the commitment of Many (La.) offensive lineman Garrett Thomas, who announced his pledge on Wednesday morning in a ceremony at his high school.
Garrett Thomas will be a Longhorn pic.twitter.com/eKcb6nVeuI— Ryan Greer (@BigDaddy_Greer) July 9, 2014
A consensus three-star prospect, Thomas chose the Horns over finalists Michigan, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, and South Carolina. It was the first pledge for the Horns in nearly two months -- the last commitment came from New Mexico quarterback Zach Gentry back on May 12th.
The 6'5.5, 306-pound Thomas also held offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Calfornia, Houston, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Miami, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Southern Miss, TCU, and Tulane.
The commitment of Thomas to Texas was hardly a surprise -- he enjoyed his recent visit to Austin in early June and likes his fit at UT academically. As a result, his Crystal Ball predictions stood at 88% in favor of Texas entering the day.
Here are some thoughts on Thomas' skill set from Burnt Orange Nation's own ramramSatya:
In his highlight videos, Thomas shows plenty of promise on rushing plays - he has a quick release off the line and uses his size effectively to overwhelm linebackers at the second level. He finishes blocks well, and shows plenty of speed when moving downfield. Although Thomas was listed as an offensive tackle during high school, he may be more suited to play at left or right guard. Due to Many's offense, Thomas didn't see much action as a pass blocker - it will be interesting to see whether his footwork holds up in pass protection. His performance at the Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour was solid, although it did result in a particularly unflattering video of Thomas getting beaten off the edge during drills.
However, as prevalent as the guard projections are for Thomas, he has the height and reach to play outside in college and offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Joe Wickline believes that he can play tackle in college, according to Thomas.
One of the question marks facing Thomas is his competition level, as he plays 2A football in Louisiana, which may cause him to need some extra time adjusting to the speed of the college game. With some depth on the interior of the line, unless Thomas ends up showing the ability to play offensive tackle, he should have the necessary time to make that adjustment with a redshirt season.
Thomas is the 11th commitment in the 2015 class for Texas, which now ranks No. 17 nationally in the 247Sports Composite rankings and No. 1 in the Big 12. The Horns could take at least two more offensive linemen in the class, as Wickline is still targeting Arlington Bowie offensive tackle Madison Akamnonu, Coppell offensive lineman Connor Williams, and Galena Park North Shore offensive guard Tyler Moore, though it's not clear at this time if Texas would take both Thomas and Moore.