The Texas Longhorns have struggled for years to find a difference-maker at the tight end position and have now lost their only current possibility to fill that void in the 2014 class with the decommitment of Trinity Valley Community College tight end John Thomas, according to ESPN's William Wilkerson.
Based on Wilkerson's tweets, it appears that the decision by have been at least somewhat mutual:
John Thomas on decommitting: "They were looking for some1 to graduate in Dec & I wasn't going to be able to..."— William Wilkerson (@ESPNwilkerson) December 1, 2013
John Thomas: "They have been changing players positions and I wasn't going to play tackle or defensive end."— William Wilkerson (@ESPNwilkerson) December 1, 2013
The latter seems purely like an excuse, as Texas hasn't moved a tight end to tackle since Britt Mitchell some years ago now and while Caleb Bluiett has been moved back and forth this season, the practice hasn't been entirely common under head coach Mack Brown.
A consensus three-star prospect, Thomas had committed to the Longhorns over an offer from Auburn on a visit in June. Out of high school, the Bossier City (La.) product signed with LSU, but failed to qualify and there were continued concerns about his ability to do so. As a result, the fact that he would not have been able to enroll for spring practice may have been a deal-breaker for the Texas coaches.
At 6'5 and 255 pounds, Thomas has the size to contribute as an in-line blocker, but does not project as a player with the speed to stretch the field vertically from the position.
In the class, Texas has only offered two other players at the position -- Alvin (Texas) Manvel jumbo athlete Koda Martin is currently committed to Texas A&M and La Mirada (Calif.) product Tyler Luatua is expected to end up at Notre Dame without visiting Austin.