As the dog days of summer begin, high school and college football players are starting their seasons with mini camps and two-a-days. For high school players, and students alike, the waining decision of what college to choose from looms over their senior year. Fortunately, for special athletes blessed with extraordinary talent, schools have already shown interest in their skill set and have possibly already rewarded them with an opportunity to play at the next level. For 4-star linebacker Jaheim Thomas, the burden of choosing what school to play for is already over. Next year, he’ll be a Cincinnati Bearcat.
Thomas, like so many other recruits in the Luke Fickell era, is from Cincinnati. A product of Princeton High School, Thomas decided to be the only member of the Princeton Trio to remain home as Paris Johnson and Darrion Henry both have verbally committed to Ohio State. While Fickell could only pick up one recruit from Princeton High School, Thomas is arguably the second best player from that group as Darrion Henry was downgraded to an 87 overall on 247Sports and Thomas was bumped to an 88 overall.
More and more recruits from around the Cincinnati area are starting to realize that they don’t need to go far to make an impact. With offers from Alabama, Ohio State, LSU, Georgia, Florida State, and more, Thomas had the opportunity to play in front of bigger crowds and more media publicity, but instead decided to build onto the great foundation of Bearcats football. Fickell and his staff have done a great job of keeping local recruits local, and any great coach uses that as a foundation for their program.
With the addition of Thomas, Fickell will add yet another recruiting tool to his arsenal. When Gavin Gerhardt committed, he became vital in recruiting Evan Prater, and after Prater committed, he was crucial in getting Daved Jones Jr. and Jaheim Thomas. Fickell still has yet to land other big recruits like Justin Wodtly and Rickey Hyatt, but with Thomas’ presence, the Bearcats aren’t afraid to hang with
the other big dogs in recruiting the state of Ohio.