After missing out on Washington bluechip quarterback prospect Max Browne -- following a similar miss last year with Notre Dame early enrollee Gunner Kiel -- the Sooners have finally found their quarterback in the 2013 class with the commitment of Colleyville (Texas) Heritage star Cody Thomas.
The pledge apparently went down on Wednesday night and was reported by Sooner Nation and SoonerScoop on their boards early Thursday morning, but was not confirmed until several hours later by multiple people, including recruiting analyst Eric Nahlin of Inside Texas.
A consensus four-star prospect who may be the best pure passer in a loaded 2013 quarterback recruiting class in the state of Texas, the 6'5, 220-pound Thomas held 20 offers before ending his recruitment a little more than a week after receiving his offer from the Sooners. Notable programs to offer Thomas include Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, LSU, Notre Dame and Oregon.
However, the take represents a calculated risk for Oklahoma, as Thomas is considered a potential first-round draft pick in the 2013 Major League Draft -- he may never reach campus in Norman. In discussing Thomas last weekend, a source told me that Texas head coach Mack Brown had put out feelers about Thomas and his baseball prospects and was told unanimously that Thomas is a potential major league outfielder.
While the Sooners added a quarterback in San Antonio Reagan's Trevor Knight in 2012 and are considered favorites to land potential 2014 five-star Justice Hansen of Edmond (Okla.) Sante Fe, with longtime starter Landry Jones graduating after the 2012 season, the future of the position remains very much in question.
Thomas has all the tools to become the answer if he passes up the money offered by professional baseball. Considered a pro-style quarterback by the services, he won't be constrained to the pocket, as he has above-average athleticism. Though he won't be a running quarterback in college, he will be able to use his feet to escape the pocket when it breaks down and deliver passes downfield, as he shows the ability to keep his eyes on his receivers while moving
With a tight, compact delivery and an easy, smooth release, the ball jumps out of Thomas' hand. When necessary, he can ratchet up his velocity on intermediate passes to fit throws into small windows, leaving little question that he can make the type of deep out throws to the opposite hashmark that NFL scouts love to see. When necessary, Thomas can also change speeds and throw the ball with touch when working downfield.
Areas for improvement include his transfer of weight in his lower body to decrease his reliance at times on pure arm strength, as well as adjusting his release point closer to the ideal spot at the earhole of his helmet, though he does have the pure height that his passing lanes aren't compromised to the same extent that they would be for a shorter quarterback. In that regard, Thomas benefits greatly from his taller frame.
The odds are probably slightly against Thomas making it to Norman in 2013, but if he does, he'll step onto campus as the most talented passer on the Oklahoma roster.
For more on OU football, visit Oklahoma blog Crimson And Cream Machine.
Cody Thomas (junior highlights) (via 247SportsStudio)