Senior defensive end Chad Thomas (Miami/Booker T. Washington) was presented his honorary game jersey at his school Wednesday during the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2014 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game. The event was part of the three-month selection tour.
Thomas, a Miami (Fla.) commitment, is one of 90 players selected to compete in the seventh annual Under Armour All-America Game, a nationally televised competition game featuring the country’s top high school seniors. The game is set for 4 p.m. ET on Jan. 2 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and will be televised on ESPN.
"I want to thank my family for coming out here," Thomas said. "My granddad and my grandma, my momma, my daddy, my auntie over there. I want to thank my coaches … I want to thank all of my coaches and my teammates for helping me be part of this All-American program at Booker T. Coach [Harris] pushing every day, all my coaches pushing me, my teammates pushing me. I would like to thank all of y'all for coming out."
Booker T. Washington head coach Tim "Ice" Harris says the demands put on Thomas every day will make his transition to the Under Armour practice and game smooth and natural.
"Being able to be in a position to play in this game, have to put in maximum effort every play … he will be very successful because that is what he's trained to do now. What's happening now in terms of how he trains and develops himself at this point, being in this game will just be something natural to him."
Watching South Carolina star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney play in the UA game played a big part in Thomas' decision, when looking at various all-star games.
"What made me decide to accept my invitation to the Under Armour All-America Game was watching Jadeveon Clowney's highlights and learning from him. I know he played in this game and a lot of other great athletes did, too. I was at the All-America Camp for juniors watching them play, and knew I just had to be a part of it," Thomas said. "I'm excited about the game. I'm just ready to get this season over with and be the national champions, and then come to the Under Armour All-America Game and play so people can see that I'm from the No. 1 team, and that I’m going to bring it every play."
The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Thomas is the No. 125 ranked prospect overall and the No. 14 defensive end in the class. He committed to Miami over offers from Louisville, Florida State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, NC State and others.