A look at the latest news and notes out West with Signing Day imminent...
Thomas: The Best Unkept Secret
However, no credible source was willing or able to step forward and give any kind of demonstrative or concrete evidence that Thomas was slightly interested in leaving Los Angeles to head north to Eugene.
Out the blue though, rumors again began to fly that Thomas was visiting the Eugene campus on the last weekend of the 2011 recruiting class before signing day. If true, it would be Oregon's best and last chance to land arguably, the nation's best player. A 5-star defensive back, ranked no. 1 at his position. In fact, Scott Kennedy, Scout's head of recruiting has suggested that Thomas might be the top athlete at a number of positions.
On Sunday night, with nearly 300 people in eDuck's chat room, speculation swept through the online assemblage like wildfire in a bone-dry forest in the middle of a hot July. Was Thomas actually visiting and had he committed?
Some of eDuck's denizens are calling the chat session one of the best in the 15-year history of eDuck. Right up there with the night Jonathan Stewart made his pick to become a Duck or Haloti Ngata 's decision to wear green and yellow (back in the day when there were only two colors at Oregon!)
Anyway, while no one from Scout has yet to make contact with Thomas to actually verify he made the trip, there is plenty of evidence online to convince me that he did, complete with photos of him wearing a green Oregon cap and and Oregon jacket.
Does this mean that he has committed to Oregon? No, he could have been in Eugene and just decided to buy the gear. Who knows?
Likely, no one is going to know for sure if Thomas is going to be a Duck until Wednesday (February 2nd) when National Letters of Intent are faxed in. Oregon's Chip Kelly hasn't yet announced what time he'll hold a media conference to announce the 2011 recruiting class. Typically, the formal announcement is made in the early afternoon and that could be the case on signing day too.
Besides Thomas, there are some other players Duck fans are interested in finding just where they'll end up -- Jake Fisher, a big offensive lineman, defensive tackles Delvon Simmons and Christian Heyward, plus safety Marqise Lee.
eDuck.com's chat is going to be running all day on Wednesday.
By the way, you may wonder why Thomas is listed as having no interest in Oregon in Scout's database. This is because the software doesn't allow for listing a player as having interest in a program if he has already given a verbal commitment to another school.
Real life though is different, even on the internet!
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