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Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Sooners make another imprint in Miami

By Brandon Chatmon

One glimpse at the highlight tape of Ahmad Thomas (Miami/Central) makes it easy to see the physical traits which piqued the interest of Oklahoma.

The safety prospect committed to the Sooners on Tuesday, becoming the program’s eighth commitment for the class of 2013. At 6-foot, 195 pounds, Thomas should bring good size and an aggressive streak to OU’s defensive backfield.

Yet, maybe even more importantly, Thomas represents another successful pilgrimage into the Miami area for the Sooners. Running back commit Greg Bryant (Delray Beach, Fla./American Heritage-Boca-Delray) lives roughly an hour north of Miami.

That cannot be overlooked.

The University of Miami built a dynasty by building a fence around “The state of Miami” during the 1980s and 1990s. The city and its talent-rich surrounding areas could be a gold mine for the Sooners if they can tap into the region. While OU secured four signees from the state of Florida in February, Thomas and Bryant are proof that the Sooners are trying to consistently reach into South Florida and have great success.

In addition to commitments from Thomas and Bryant, the Sooners have offers out to other Miami-area prospects including athlete Adrian Baker (Hallandale, Fla./Chaminade-Madonna College Prep), athlete Leroy Clark (Miami/Archbishop Carroll) and linebacker Matthew Thomas (Miami/Booker T. Washington).

It’s clear OU is committed to becoming a consistent competitor in the battles for Florida’s elite from Jacksonville to Miami. While the Sooners proved they can have success recruiting in north and central Florida during the last recruiting cycle, OU is expanding its success into south Florida during the current recruiting cycle, which is a terrific development for the program’s long term success.