Signing Day 2017: WR Jeff Thomas signs with Miami Hurricanes

Jeff Thomas celebrates during the Under Armour All-America Game. (247Sports)

Jeff Thomas celebrates during the Under Armour All-America Game. (247Sports)

[All Hurricanes recruiting bios]

Miami left its home turf to get an All-American wide receiver.

Jeff Thomas, from East St. Louis, Ill., is on the way to Coral Gables. He made his announcement before 11 a.m. Wednesday on ESPNU.

“The love Miami showed was ridiculous,” said Thomas, soft-spoken and sitting in front of his family, friends and teammates.

Thomas was an under-the-radar player for most of his senior year. ESPN recruiting analyst Tom Luginbill noted that at one point in his career — he didn’t say when — Thomas wasn’t going to class and was kicked off his football team amid sinking grades.

“We took him off our [rankings],” Luginbill said. “Light went on, he got back on track, and it paid off for him.”

Luginbill said Thomas, No. 8 in UM’s position rankings, is the highest-rated wide receiver heading to Miami since Stacy Coley in 2013.

He was the second wideout to commit to the Hurricanes on Wednesday, joining Mike Harley.

More about Thomas:

WR Jeff Thomas

Thomas

Thomas

Status: committed to Miami

Decision: 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, ESPNU

In the mix: Miami, Louisville, Tennessee and Oregon

Size: 5-10, 165

School: East St. Louis (Illinois)

Stats: 1,101 yards, 13 touchdowns on 50 catches as a senior; 1,145-7-54 as a junior (MaxPreps)

Stars: Four (247, Rivals, ESPN)

Rank: No. 8 wide receiver, 55th overall (ESPN), No. 8, 57th (Rivals), No. 9, 52nd (247)

Projection: Major weapon. His speed and big-play ability were why he was MVP of the Under Armour All-America Game. He had two long touchdowns off short throws. At Miami, he could be a multipurpose threat, especially in the slot or on jet sweeps and bubble screens. “A true burner,” ESPN wrote, noting that he is “fearless” and “should be able to run away from nearly everyone at the next level.” Along with Ahmmon Richards and Mike Harley, he would give Miami’s receiving corps the speed it had with Phillip Dorsett, Herb Waters and Stacy Coley a few years ago. He was named fastest player at “The Opening” combine last summer:

Fun facts: Rivals named him the “most exciting and dynamic player” and the “game-changer” of the Under Armour All-America week. He recorded 148 receiving yards and two touchdowns (both records in the 10-year-old event), including a 79-yarder and 44-yarder … Turned a few heads by showing up on his Miami official visit wearing gear with an orange-and-green “F” logos on it. Florida Gators? Nah. His high school team is the Flyers … Wore No. 4 for said Flyers … Also played cornerback.

On tape: Footage from Under Armour All-America practices: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqii_gMlwS8 … Senior year mixtape, showing UA Game highlight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lakVP7WyOm0 … Hudl highlights: https://www.hudl.com/profile/3343060/jeff-thomas

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