Xavier Thomas has pinpointed a timeline for his decision.
After the country’s No. 3 ranked 2018 prospect releases his top four, the defensive end will get down to business.
“I’m planning on releasing my top four at the end of this Opening, (then) I’m planning on taking a couple of more visits, I’m not sure (where) yet. I’m probably going to commit at the end of my junior season,” Thomas told SEC Country’s Corey Masisak at The Opening on Saturday afternoon.
Growing up in Florence, S.C., Thomas pulled for South Carolina.
“I grew up watching Coach Spurrier and I also imagined myself as (Jadeveon) Clowney, being him,” he said. “Now that coach (Will) Muschamp is there, he’s telling me that I’m going to be the face of their program. That’s something that I’ve dreamed of since I was little.”
Defensive line coach Lance Thompson serves as the Gamecocks’ primary recruiter. According to Thomas, they’ve made a connection.
“Just the fact that he talks to me all the time, more than any coach does — we talk on the phone a lot. He’s just a great coach … he talks to me about the academics and everything,” Thomas said.
The race is far from over, at least for now. Clemson and Ohio State are firmly in the mix for Thomas, who has 17 career sacks for Wilson High School.
“Coach Dabo Swinney told me I was his No. 1 recruit in 2018. That was also big time. Just coming off a national championship. Even though they lost, that’s pretty big time,” Thomas said of the Tigers.
The Buckeyes hosted him for a visit earlier this year.
“Coach (Urban) Meyer, he talked to us a lot. We watched them practice and it was a fast-tempo. I liked it a lot,” Thomas said.
In 20 career high school games, Thomas has registered 129 tackles and 34 tackles for loss. As a sophomore, he rushed for 568 yards and eight touchdowns.