The most coveted member of Florida State’s 2013 recruiting class apparently is looking to go elsewhere.
Miami Booker T. Washington’s Matthew Thomas, considered one of the top linebackers in the nation by Scout.com, told the Miami Herald on Monday that he is seeking a release from his scholarship so that he can instead attend Georgia or Southern California.
“I’ve told them it’s nothing personal. I just didn’t make the decision I really wanted to on Signing Day,” Thomas told the Herald.
“What happened was on Signing Day [was] I wasn’t sure who I wanted to sign with. I had issues with different schools. But when I told my mom I didn’t want to sign with anybody and wait and give it a few days, she said I couldn’t do that. She said, ‘FSU is a good school — pick them. It’s close to home.’ I wasn’t agreeing with it. But I felt like I was being disrespectful to her if I didn’t sign. So I made her happy.”
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Thomas was one of the crown jewels of the Seminoles’ class in February. Scout.com praised Thomas as a fast, athletic and aggressive player who projects as an outside linebacker at the college level.
Thomas was expected to compete for playing time as a backup in 2013, and he could be pushing for a starting job soon as Florida State will start two seniors, Christian Jones and Telvin Smith, at linebacker this fall. Beyond them, the Seminoles have little experience at the position and it would leave a glaring weakness for the 2014 team.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher is unlikely to fully release Thomas from his scholarship, meaning he will limit his options. Atlantic Coast Conference schools would surely be blocked, but it remains to be seen how Fisher would view a transfer to an SEC or Pac-12 program.
Since Florida State’s scholarships are for one year, it’s possible that Thomas could attend a junior college and then transfer to a Football Bowl Subdivision program outside the ACC, if Thomas and Fisher could agree to that arrangement.