Two days after the hoopla surrounding the second National Signing Day, the West Virginia University football program added another potential piece to its 2020 recruiting class.
Baconton (Ga.) Mitchell County athlete James Thomas pledged to the Mountaineers over offers from South Carolina, Tennessee and others.
Thomas starred on both sides of the ball in high school, leading his team as both a quarterback and running back on offense while shining at multiple spots on defense. The Mountaineers are recruiting him as “either an inside or outside linebacker.”
Thomas visited Morgantown unofficially back in January and came away from that trip with West Virginia clearly in the lead.
“Things that stood out to me the most would be the coaches and the academics,” said Thomas at the time. “The coaches play a major part in this because they told me everything straight up and didn’t hesitate. There wasn’t a question they wouldn’t know or know about. The staff was encouraging and hyped about everything.”
The reason Thomas is referred to as a “potential” piece to the class is that Thomas has not signed, and sources indicate he will not anytime soon. He intends to take his ACT again to better his score and assure his eligibility at the next level.
Due to hard cap rules in place by the NCAA, West Virginia typically refrains from signing anyone who might not make it academically. Then they can enroll at a later date and still count toward either this class or the next. Cornerback Tacorey Turner did the same thing last cycle, enrolling in the summer after not signing in February.
Thomas received a three-star, 0.8613-rating in the 247Sports Composite as the nation’s No. 47 athlete.