Thursday, May 9, 2013
Roundtable: Matthew Thomas' future
By WeAreSC staff
Matthew Thomas is attempting to gain his release from Florida State by claiming duress in the signing process. He is reportedly looking to attend either USC or Georgia. How do you see this situation playing out?
It’s my belief that Matthew Thomas is asking for his release from Florida State because he wants to go to USC. Yes, he also mentioned Georgia as a possible destination, but that seems to be an option that exists, at least in part, to satisfy family. Ever since Thomas took his visit to USC in January, there have been rumblings of legitimate interest in the Trojans. Some might have felt those feelings went by the wayside when he signed with the Seminoles, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.
Matthew Thomas wants out of his Florida State LOI, and USC joins Georgia as schools he'd consider if released.
It’s interesting to note that Thomas made his request known this week while his mom was out of town. His mom was a key influence in his choice of FSU and -- even though Thomas is saying his parents are behind his choice to head to a new school -- there is still a lot that could be decided when the Florida State coaches hold a planned meeting with the Thomas family next week. It’s not even clear if the Noles will release him or not but, if they do, I think Thomas ends up at USC.
While Jimbo Fisher and the rest of the Florida State coaching staff are sure to give their best shot at trying to reel Matthew Thomas back in, the fact that he apparently has his parents’ blessing to make a change speaks volumes, and I definitely don’t expect to ever see Thomas playing in a Seminoles jersey. Whether or not Florida State agrees to release him from his LOI ultimately might not even matter. Having to sit out a year, either at another program or at a junior college, likely won’t factor into his decision if he feels strongly enough to talk to the media about the situation. There’s really no turning back at this point.
Ultimately, however, I do expect Fisher and Co. to release him, allowing him to play this fall. I think that the program could be portrayed in a negative light if they, in essence, hold a player hostage. Now, will Thomas wind up at USC or Georgia? Thomas supposedly had a blast on his visit, and there were even rumors leading up to Signing Day that he had his heart set on becoming a Trojan. Georgia, meanwhile, signed a class of 33, but they also lost two linebackers to the first round of the NFL draft, so the opportunity to see the field early does exist there as well. But it’s the reference to having family in Georgia by Thomas that appears to be especially significant. As was evident in February, his mother obviously holds at least some influence here, so the element of family and distance from home will almost certainly play a role in the decision. Because of that, I believe he winds up at Georgia.
There is always an underlying risk in transfers coming in from high-profile programs such as Florida State. It has been well documented that Matthew Thomas says that he signed his letter of intent with the Seminoles out of respect for his mother and not about what was in his heart. Yes, Thomas is a talent, but the Trojans also need players that don’t come with question marks. I think that Thomas will compromise with his mother and end up at Georgia. He stays in the South and allows his mother to see him play, but he still decides where he can feel comfortable.