USC's Late Push Not Enough for Top LB Matthew Thomas

Harry How

The No. 1 linebacker in the country signed with Florida State Wednesday morning despite a late push by USC.

Matthew Thomas, the No. 1 linebacker in the nation according to ESPN, wouldn't even tell his mother where he was going to sign, so it was news for everyone when he signed with Florida State early Wednesday morning.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound, big-hitting linebacker from Booker T. Washington High in Miami, Fla. visited USC on the weekend of January 18. However, the Trojans were unable to sway Thomas to leave his home state.

Thomas is fast and aggressive, which would have made him an excellent fit on the outside of Clancy Pendergast's attacking defense. He hits the gaps extremely well and has the ability to put his hand on the ground and come off the end if need be.

He is a consensus five-star recruit by Scout, Rivals and ESPN. Scout and Rivals rank Thomas as the No. 2 outside linebacker in the country behind Jaylon Smith, who is expected to sign with Notre Dame. ESPN lists Thomas as the top linebacker and has him No. 6 overall in the ESPNU top 150.

Check out the highlights for Thomas, who also considered Miami, Alabama and Georgia:

For more information on high school recruits potentially choosing USC, follow our National Signing Day coverage.

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