February 02, 2011
De'Anthony Thomas not only knows how to make things interesting but entertaining as well, showing up about 45 minutes tardy for his announcement ceremony at Los Angeles Crenshaw and then switching schools from USC to Oregon.
It is a tremendous recruiting coup for the Ducks, who hosted Thomas on a visit last weekend, a trip that seemingly changed everything in the five-star athlete's recruitment. Until then, other programs were under consideration but it came as a shock to many when word leaked out this week that Thomas was seriously thinking about changing his pledge.
Oregon is on the upswing having played for the national championship this season. USC is the big fish in the Pac-12 and one of the biggest nationally. An emotional Thomas said, though, that he felt most comfortable at Oregon and had to make the change.
The Ducks are getting a phenomenal player and it's one of the biggest National Signing Day switches in recent memory. Rivals.com rates the U.S. Army All-American as the nation's best athlete, fifth in the 2011 class and second in the California state rankings.
His decision has not only impacted USC and Oregon but it has played a major influence in the final Rivals.com recruiting rankings. If Thomas would have stayed with the Trojans, they were projected to finish No. 1 for the second consecutive year. However, since the Black Mamba changed to Oregon, Alabama will stay in the No. 1 spot.
Thomas' decision to leave USC is not good news but the rest of signing day went extraordinarily well for the Trojans.
Coach Lane Kiffin and his staff closed phenomenally well and landed four-star linebacker Lamar Dawson, four-star offensive guard Aundrey Walker, four-star defensive tackle Christian Heyward and three-star athlete Javorius Allen all on Wednesday.