NCF On The Trail: Johnathan Thomas

The Big Ten always has plenty of recruiting storylines worthy of following.

From key commitments to intriguing attempts to flip prospects committed elsewhere, here’s what went down in a very busy week on the trail for the conference.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

From commitments to official visits to offers tendered, the Big Ten is never at a loss for headlines.

Here’s a look at the latest from an always busy conference:

Bill O’Brien serving pancakes

Urban Meyer has been known as the master in flipping committed prospects in his time at Ohio State and rightfully so with more than a dozen pledged targets becoming Buckeyes. O’Brien is catching up after flipping Jason Cabinda (Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central) from Syracuse to Penn State on Wednesday.

Cabinda marks the sixth pledge to change stripes and join the Nittany Lions since O’Brien took over the reins in Happy Valley.

He’s raided Maryland three times in landing running backs Richy Anderson and Johnathan Thomas as well as offensive guard Tanner Hartman. O’Brien has also plucked quarterback Steven Bench from Rice and landed defensive tackle Parker Cothren from Purdue.

Buckeye leafs

Ohio State’s biggest target is headed to Columbus this weekend for the game against Penn State as the top-ranked linebacker in the nation regardless of position comes to town on an official visit in Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County).

McMillan isn’t the only one slated to take an official visit as East Mississippi Community College teammates Avery Gennesy at offensive tackle and A.J. Stamps at safety are coming along. ESPN 300 wide receiver Josh Malone (Gallatin, Tenn./Station Camp) will be on an official visit, too as will commit and defensive end Jalyn Holmes (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor).

By the way, Gennesy and Stamps went to the same community college current Ohio State junior and 2013 signee Corey Smith went to.

ESPN Junior 300 standouts Jauan Jennings (Murfreesboro, Tenn./Blackman), Lorenzo Nunez (Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison), Brandon Wimbush (Jersey City/N.J./St. Peter’s Prep), Minkah Fitzpatrick (Jersey City N.J./St. Peter’s Prep), Jacques Patrick (Orlando, Fla./Timber Creek), Anthony McKee (Columbus/Walnut Ridge), Shy Tuttle (Lexington, N.C./North Davidson), Larry Scott (Hubbard, Ohio/Hubbard) and Kelly Bryant (Piedmont, S.C./Wren) have all said they are coming.

As always, the list is fluid and could change at any time. There are a good collection of commits coming to the game as well.

Lee getting close

ESPN 300 linebacker Brandon Lee (Indianapolis/Lawrence Central) cut his list down to Cal, Louisville, Missouri and Virginia Tech on Wednesday night. He will be announcing his decision on Nov. 8, and has already taken an official visit out to Cal and will be out to see Virginia Tech this weekend.

The No. 242 ranked prospect had Northwestern and Penn State in his top list, so those two schools are now obviously out of the running.

It’s still a bit of a mystery as to where he will end up, since Lee has kept everything close to the vest. He is keeping everyone in suspense and taking it down to the wire right up to his announcement date.

London has a top five and a timeline

Running back Madre London (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) is a highly coveted senior among Big Ten teams. With limited options remaining, plenty of teams are hoping to land the three-star back.

On Wednesday, London tweeted that his top five is Nebraska, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Illinois and Pitt and that he will be making his final decision in two weeks.

The Spartans might have the edge here, but it could go either way since he has taken a few visits recently to various programs.

At 6-foot-2, 202 pounds, he would be a great fit for most programs, so landing this Florida athlete will be a big deal for whichever program gets his commitment.

Michigan coaches on the road


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

There are very few schools which are on a roll quite like Penn State is now.

Things started going the Nittany Lions' way when they upset Michigan in a quadruple overtime thriller on Oct. 12.

In the 11 days that have followed, Penn State has seen a boom in recruiting with three more commitments.

That shot in the arm continued Wednesday when three-star inside linebacker Jason Cabinda (Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central) flipped from Syracuse and became the 15th member of Penn State’s 2014 class.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Penn State lands commitment No. 14 

October, 21, 2013
10/21/13
12:09
AM ET
Penn State’s big recruiting week picked up some more steam late Sunday night when four-star running back Johnathan Thomas (Danvers, Mass./St. John’s Prep) flipped his commitment from Maryland to the Nittany Lions.

A four-star senior, the 5-foot-11, 210-pound Thomas committed to Maryland over Arkansas on May 9, but started to think more and more about Penn State when the Nittany Lions threw an offer his way in September.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Weekly Commitment Roundup

May, 10, 2013
5/10/13
10:07
AM ET
ACC
Boston College
Christian Lezzer | ILB |Clearfield, Pa./Clearfield
HT: 6-1 WT: 215
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Clemson
Milan Richard |TE-Y |Savannah, Ga./Calvary Baptist Day School
HT: 6-3 WT: 229
Position Rank: #2 TE-Y
Stars: 4

Maryland
Johnathan Thomas |RB |Peabody, Mass./Saint John's Prep
HT: 5-11 WT: 196
Position Rank: #35 RB
Stars: 4

Big 12
Iowa State
Victor Holmes |S |La Porte, Texas/La Porte
HT: 5-11 WT: 177
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending
De'Monte Ruth | CB | Dallas/Wilmer Hutchins
HT: 5-9 WT: 150
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Texas Tech
Byron Daniels | WR | San Antonio/James Madison
HT: 5-11 WT: 170
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big East
Cincinnati
Hakeem Allonce | DT | Greenbelt, Md./Pierce College (JC)
HT: 6-5 WT: 290
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Louisville
De'Eric Culver | CB | Tallahassee, Fla./Godby
HT: 5-10 WT: 169
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Jared McCray | OT | Minford, Ohio/Minford
HT: 6-4 WT: 305
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big Ten
Nebraska
Jason Hall | S |Grand Prairie, Texas/South Grand Prairie
HT: 6-2 WT: 192
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Northwestern
Auston Anderson | RB | Plano, Texas/Plano West
HT: 5-9 WT: 180
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Tommy Doles | OT | Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian
HT: 6-5 WT: 250
Position Rank: #47 OT
Stars: 3

Dareian Watkins | ATH | Galion, Ohio/Galion
HT: 6-1 WT: 195
Position Rank: #40 ATH
Stars: 4

Penn State
Daquan Worley | ATH | Coatesville, Pa./Coatesville
HT: 5-10 WT: 171
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Purdue
Trae Hart | WR | Dallas/First Baptist Academy
HT: 5-11 WT: 155
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Pac-12
Arizona State
Korey Rush | DE | Salt Lake City/East
HT: 6-2 WT: 240
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Stanford
Daniel Marx | FB | Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viego
HT: 6-3 WT: 238
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

USC
Austin Maloata | DT | Corona, Calif./Centennial
HT: 6-3 WT: 250
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Washington
Don Hill | DE | Boise, Idaho/Timberline
HT: 6-4 WT: 235
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

SEC
Alabama
Zach Whitley Jr. | ILB | Houston, Texas/North Shore
HT: 6-2 WT: 220
Position Rank: #9 ILB
Stars: 4

Mississippi State
Jamoral Graham | ATH | Decatur, Miss./Newton County Academy
HT: 5-11 WT: 180
Position Rank: #15 ATH
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (#109)

Missouri
Kevin Pendleton | OT | Lee's Summit, Mo./Lee's Summit West
HT: 6-4 WT: 328
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

 

Four-star Johnathan Thomas commits

May, 9, 2013
5/09/13
3:26
PM ET
Danvers (Mass.) St. John's Prep running back Johnathan Thomas has verbally committed to the University of Maryland, he confirmed to ESPNBoston.com this afternoon.

Dan Ventura of the Boston Herald was first to report the commitment.

The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Thomas, a Salem resident, is a four-star running back prospect, and one of two four-star prospects in New England, along with Norwich (Conn.) Free Academy running back Marcus Outlow, a Boston College commitment.

Thomas was an ESPN Boston All-State selection after helping lead the Eagles to their first MIAA Division 1 Super Bowl title in 15 years, carrying 220 times for 1,794 yards and 15 touchdowns. He added nine catches for 153 yards and three touchdowns, and defensively added 20.5 tackles and two interceptions. He was one of five finalists for ESPN Boston's annual "Mr. Football" award, given to the best player in Massachusetts, and the only junior named to the list.

Thomas chose the Terrapins over offers from Arkansas, Boston College, UConn, UMass, Virginia and Holy Cross.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Class of 2014 running back prospect Johnathan Thomas (Danvers, Mass./St. Johns Prep) posted one of the top 40-yard-dash times at the Under Armour National Combine on Friday. The 5-foot-10, 196-pound athlete turned in a blazing 4.47 40 time.

Thomas is expected to be one of the top prospects in Massachussetts and he's already hearing from some of the top schools in the northeast.

"I have offers from Boston College, UMass, Virginia and UConn. Penn State is showing a lot of interest," Thomas said. "So is Virginia Tech."

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

SPONSORED HEADLINES