LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- One of the lesser known prospects participating in the Under Armour All-American Game is Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft wide receiver Michael Thomas. Part of the reason for his anonymity is that he had to sit out his junior season due to CIF transfer rules. When he was able to hit the field as a senior, the 6-foot-3, 180-pound wide receiver made the most of his final year of eligibility.
"I finished this season with 82 catches, 1756 yards, and 22 touchdowns," Thomas said. "This year was a coming out for me."
That performance was good enough to help Thomas earn an invite to Wednesday's game, and he plans to showcase his abilities to a national television audience.
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"The first day I came out I was kind of nervous about going up and attacking the ball," Thomas said. "The second day it got better and by the third day I felt really good. I am looking forward to the game."
At this time, the three-star wideout holds a handful of offers. Leading the list is Oregon State, who he plans to visit on January 14th, but he has also been officially tendered by SMU, Colorado, Wyoming, and Colorado State. He is also being shown interest by ASU and UCLA. He believes more schools may come calling.
"With me not being able to play my junior season, I missed out because so many schools offer kids as juniors," Thomas said. "I have had to play catch-up. I think this month is going to be huge."
As for Oregon State, the only school the 6-foot-3, 180-pound wide receiver has scheduled an official visit for at this point, they are a major possibility to land his signature but he isn't rushing into any decisions.
"Oregon State is a great school," Thomas said. "Coach Riley was the offensive coordinator for my uncle (Keyshawn Johnson) when he was at USC, so that is an advantage. There is nothing wrong with OSU, I just want to stay open right now because of the situation I am in."
That situation is waiting for more offers, as other wide receivers fall off other team's boards, Thomas believes other offers will come in. But in no way is it a slight towards the Beavers.
"It is a top school," Thomas said. "I like them a lot. They pass the ball. I just want to stay open and give everyone a chance. I just want to wait a little while, maybe to the middle of January, and see what happens."
Thomas said he intends to take more official visits in January. As for a decision, that will come in due time.
"I don't want to rush and then want to go back," Thomas said. "I just want to play it safe so I can be true to whoever I commit to."