- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
Recruiting has picked up for Racean ‘Rock’ Thomas in recent weeks, but the 2014 running back might be ready to shut the process down and make a commitment. Thomas says he wants to try to make a decision sometime during the next few weeks.
The Oxford, Ala., native has double-digit scholarship offers, including an offer from nearly half of the teams in the SEC. Currently, Alabama, Florida State and LSU are the three schools that stand out.
Alabama: “I just like how close they are to home,” Thomas said. “They have great coaches. I like how they produce their running backs. They just make them a lot stronger when they come in, put some weight on them, make them be able to play the game better than they did in high school and make them great character-wise.”
Florida State: “I just like their games and their style of play. It kind of stands out to me how they play the game. I think I could fit in if I go there. I just want to try to go down on a visit before next year.”
LSU: “I like how they play young players. It’s good to see that I really have a chance to get on the field as a freshman. Kwon [Alexander], who played with me last year, he’s already getting on the field, and he’s doing big things.”
On Friday, Alabama landed a major commitment from another top 2014 in-state running back, Bo Scarbrough (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Northridge). However, the news didn’t faze Thomas, who believes he can still come to Tuscaloosa and get carries.
“It doesn’t really affect me,” he said. “I’m still in the same state of mind. I’m pretty sure the staff is fine with both of us coming there if that happens. I just talked to Coach [Bobby] Williams, and he just wants to try to get me down there as soon as possible to a game.”
Thomas, who plans to visit at the end of the month for the Ole Miss game, has been impressed with how the Crimson Tide have used their running backs this season, rotating them in and out and giving each one a fair opportunity to make an impact.
“I just like the way they rotate them in early and not really rely on one back,” Thomas said. “With T.J. Yeldon, I like how he’s standing out as a freshman. They’re still using Eddie Lacy how they’re supposed to use him, and [Jalston] Fowler got in, but he’s hurt now. He’ll be back next year.”
This weekend, Thomas is scheduled to visit Auburn to watch the Tigers take on Louisiana-Monroe. He also hopes to get over to Georgia at some point this fall, although the Bulldogs have not offered yet.
On the field, Thomas is looking to get back on track this week after Clay-Chalkville High School held the 5-foot-11, 182-pound running back to just 35 yards on 15 carries on Friday night. He did throw for a touchdown on a halfback pass.
In the season opener, Thomas led Oxford past Carrolton (Ga.) with 17 carries for 86 yards and a touchdown as well as a 93-yard kickoff return for a score.
1dDavid M. Hale
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