Big DE has Gators high on his list


Dozens of high school basketball teams visited the University of Florida for camps last week. At the same time, the Will Muschamp Football Camp was in full swing.

So there were lots of big men on campus.

It would have been very easy to look at Jhaustin Thomas and assume he was a power forward. But he’s a defensive end from Decatur, Ga., Columbia High School.

Thomas (6-foot-6, 233 pounds) participated in the football camp last Friday, June 17. He enjoyed working out in The Swamp, spent time with his recruiter, UF tight ends coach Derek Lewis, and then went up to the football offices to talk to the coaches.

“They told me I need to focus more on football,” he said. “Because I play basketball. I need to focus on football because that’s where I’m going to make my bread.”

Thomas said the Gator coaches expressed how much they like him as a prospect. He has a verbal scholarship offer, but they didn’t press him to commit.

Florida appears to have several other prospects that are higher on their board, but Thomas could become a factor.

He says Florida and South Carolina are his top two schools. He plans to take his five official visits this fall and will likely decide after the season.


  1. If he wants a better education he needs to go to UF vice SoCar. If he wants to play in a stium located away from campus in the middle of the South Carolina State Fair Grounds, he will be a game chicken. If he wants to be at the best place and compete with the best, he needs to be at UF. Easy choice if he wants to be a winner in every category.

  2. “This guy is a scrub. We need to keep spots open for elite talent, especially with only 12 schollys left for this season”

    What kind of comment is that? What if that was your son? Let’s leave the evaluation to the experts (coaches) and not make negative comments about potential recruits. Leave that kind of garbage to our rivals and let’s all exhibit some class!

  3. Gio – you’re an embezzle! How can this guy be a scrub, if Muschamp offered him a scholarship? I think Champ knows a little bit more about evaluating talent than you do and many players, who were not “Elite” have turned out to be first round NFL draft picks! You must be a Seminole fan, trying to make Gators fans look bad! If not, you are one of our fringe bone-heads! Get educated on college football and recruiting before making comments! Gee!!!

  4. @ gio: they didnt think much of ahmad black when he came to our school neither. you forget what our coaching staff can do at florida…50+ years or NFL experience. Scrub? dont think so. and, last time i checked we needed DE badly, so why not give a dude with this kind of size a chance?


  5. Now that Chris Martin has decided to relieve Gatortown of himself there’ll be more room and opportunity to entice DE/LB prospects.
    PS: So much for 5-star ratings. This is the SEC, Chris! This is GATOR COUNTRY!! No gimmees down here!!!

  6. Coach should try keeping five star DEs like Chris Martin instead of going for guys like this. Jenkins, Blakely, and Martin. Not to mention Urban practically gift wrapped Pagan and this staff let him go to Alabama We are losing a lot of great talent. Coach needs to right the ship s, because there hasn’t been much good news in quite a while.

    Gator Nation is not a flock and I am not one of those fans that will just go along and say everything is fine.

  7. Hello All
    Not much positive being written. Looks like coach is holding his position on no pot heads at UF. Lots of talent but they come with a price. I am very disappointed to see Martin leaving. I was also disappointed to see Jenkins (our only proven CB) leave. I to have to yield to the staff about evaluations. I do trust them above all. We definitely appear to disparately need OL & DL. Go Gators

  8. PLZ, y does gator nation always forget its past, urban meyers first recruiting class was a joke. And he also had a lot of transfers in his time, if u remember his first season wasn’t so good either. It’s gotta be scary for a kid to move away from hm to a place where even the coaches ( father figures) are new. We don’t need a great record this season, we just need a few players to show out (I.e. brantley) so recruits can see what this staff can do with talent. Look for 2013 to be a 2006 type recruit class, and than national titles here we come….patience gator nation, patience

  9. With kids like Martin not knowing where they want to be or what is good for his life (parents also), maybe he should be closer to home. He’s been here for a year as a red shirt and now almost Summer practice time and he’s just realising that he needs to be closer to home, we as well as he are better off with him not being here. Someone mentioned that we should be trying to keep him because we NEED DE, well it would be like we didn’t have him anyway.All of those guys that left, their hearts were not in the GATOR NaTION anyway and we are both better off. We don’t know the whole story, they may have been told their talents were not as good as previously claimed by other coaches or the depth chart was too heavy for them. You know some of these guy think they can jusst walk right on the field because of what they were in high school, not true at this level. Whose is the next team that Martin walks out on unless he goes t a lesser competitive environment.

  10. muschamp is still “weeding out” the deadwood that doesn’t want to put out the effort—it will take a year or two, but he’s got the staff to get it going. 2011 could be rough–maybe 4 losses.

  11. How on earth do you guys expect Muschamp to compete with Jimbo Fisher over at FSU? Jimbo is absolutely owning the recruiting trail, even beating out Nick Saban. I see FSU going on another run like it had during the nineties, but actually winning when it gets in all those title games. Kids just want to play at that school. I don’t know why.

  12. The top 4 defensive linemen drafted this year:

    DT Marcell Dareus -3 star 28th rated DT by rivals
    DE Aldo Smith -3 star on scout and rivals – 54th and 27th ranking
    DE J.J. Watt – 2 star both services
    DE Nick Fairley – 3 star both services

    The list could go on – this year and every other year. Ratings don’t matter, except when we rub our high class rankings in the faces of other schools when we are higher than them.

  13. Four Star-Five Star…. he is the best according to so and so magazine. The truth is for many years the Gators had some of the best athletes in the conference but kept losing to Georgia because an overachiever by way of Auburn knew how to motivate his players better than any coach we had in Gainesville. Erk Russell was a master at getting kids with lesser talents to play at a higher level. One needs to just take a moment to learn a little about Muschamp,the Darlington graduate with a gimp leg who nobody wanted, to realize we may have another master motivator like Erk on our hands. As the Bear often said “give me a player who is not an all-american but does not know it over the one that is an all-american and knows it any day of the week”. At this level heart and team win Championships. We have a coach with great heart now give him time to deliver us a team!