The decision is finally in.
After not only months, but years of wrestling with his college decision, Rivals250 wide receiver Brian Thomas signed with LSU on Tuesday, six days removed from National Signing Day last week.
The Tigers offered Thomas as a sophomore at Walker (La.) High School and have been in a heated battle with Alabama for several years. Texas A&M and Georgia entered the race over the spring ahead of his senior year and made it an even more difficult call for the four-star prospect. Ultimately, LSU edged out the Aggies for Thomas’ signature, giving Coach Ed Orgeron sign Louisiana’s top-five prospects for 2021 and seven of the state’s top 10.
LSU bolsters its 2021 receiving haul with Thomas to pair alongside Rivals250 prospects Deion Smith, Chris Hilton and Jack Bech, as well as fellow Louisiana four-star Malik Nabers.
Thomas is the nation’s No. 19-ranked wide receiver and No. 140 player overall.
“I can be the X receiver and come in and work hard and possibly start and have a big opportunity to play right away,” Thomas told Rivals after narrowing his options down to four SEC teams. “It’s a great feeling to hear that I can come in and know I can step up to his role and be as good as him because he’s one of the best wide receivers in college football, so for them to tell me that, it’s an honor. I have a really good relationship (with Mickey Joseph) and I talked with Coach O the other day .. like two days ago. He was talking about coming in and working hard if I were to come there. On the Zoom calls, they’ve been showing me how I’d benefit from LSU and how I could come in and be a starter if I worked hard.”
“Brian is one of the most versatile athletes I’ve worked with,” said Baton Rouge-based trainer Ken Anio, who works with Thomas in addition to notable athletes like fellow LSU signee Chris Hilton and NFL receiver Russell Gage.
“He prides himself on perfection when he shows up to work. He has set high standards for himself and it has showed. His wingspan and length added with explosiveness and great ball skills have really raised the ceiling for him. His game reminds me a lot of Allen Robinson and Kenny Golladay.”
Thomas is a dual-sport standout that was offered not only as a wide receiver, but as a basketball player as well. He stretches 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds with verified 4.4 speed as a sophomore entering his junior year.
In Thomas’ second varsity football season, he reeled in 75 passes for 1,272 yards and 17 touchdowns. As a freshman, he was a key cog in Walker (La.) High’s state championship basketball squad.
In a shortened senior season, Thomas managed 507 yards on 30 receptions with seven touchdowns and was an Honorable mention on the Louisiana Class 5A All-State team.
With a broad frame and notable size, Thomas is a massive target for his quarterback that can stretch the field vertically, attack in the short and intermediate parts of the field as a chain-mover and has run-after-the-catch potential. He’s a bonafide home-run threat with rare physical gifts and athleticism.
Thomas is a long-strider with excellent balance and runs downfield like he’s running the court. He presents mismatches for opposing defensive coordinators in jump-ball situations. He has fantastic body control and strong hands in addition to special body control.
Thomas flashes in the return game and with the ball in his hands and his blend of size and speed makes for a ton of big splash plays. He also has breakaway speed in the open field, which is so rare for a 6-foot-4 wide receiver. He’s continuing to improve as a route-runner and undoubtedly has the physical tools to be a No. 1 wide receiver in the SEC.