Nebraska has bolstered its defensive line recruiting with the commitment from a defensive end regarded as one of the top-tier prep talents in the Miami area.

Guy Thomas announced Monday that he has picked Nebraska over 27 other offers from a who's who list of programs.

He'd originally told Husker coaches he probably would not decide until Signing Day. But by this past Friday, he began to feel a strong pull to pick NU sight unseen.

"I really want to go focus, get out of Florida, and just focus," Thomas said. "I know for a fact many people that have left the state for college and ended up being very successful."

The prospect is set to spend his senior year at Booker T. Washington High School and is rated a three-star recruit according to the 247Sports composite. He has four-star ratings from both Rivals and ESPN.

Rivals ranks him as the No. 15 weakside defensive end in the nation.

"Guy is a dynamic athlete," said Chris Merritt, who coached Thomas at Christopher Columbus High School last year. "You don't have 6-3, 215-pound kids that can run like he can that often. Big and fast. He'll do well in the Big Ten."

Thomas has a stacked list of reported offers that include such schools as Alabama, Miami, Auburn, LSU, Florida State, USC, Georgia and South Carolina.

His brother, Matthew Thomas, is a linebacker at Florida State. That brother gave Guy his full support to be his own man.

"He told me, 'Go where you feel best for you. Don't let nobody tell you what school to go to.' He said, 'Go where they love you at.'"

Thomas said he felt the love from Husker defensive line coach John Parrella. Defensive backs coach Brian Stewart was also key in the recruitment of the D-end.

"I have a great relationship with Coach Parrella," Thomas said. "We talk about things other than football, real-life situations and stuff like that. I trust him a lot. He told me all about Nebraska. I just have to come up and see it myself."

Thomas began his high school career at Hialeah High School, transferring last year to Columbus High, an all-boys Catholic school, after his mother passed away.

"We were the right school for him at the right time … with a lot of male leadership and discipline," Merritt said.

Thomas still keeps his mom's dreams for him close to heart.

"I know that my mom would tell me to keep working hard and push myself to my limit," he said. "She doesn't like lazy people and I’m not a lazy person. She wanted me to be successful and that's exactly what I’m going to do."

Thomas lined up last year at the end spot opposite of Joshua Uche, who is now in the Michigan program after signing with the Wolverines in February.

"Those two kids, when they put their ears back on third and long, they were pretty good," the coach said with a laugh.

It was a long trip for Thomas from his home to Columbus High each day and the coach believes it became too difficult, which is why he'll finish his career at Booker T. Washington, where his brother Matthew became a five-star recruit in the 2013 class.

Merritt wasn't surprised when news came Monday of Thomas' commitment to Nebraska. He had noticed the player tweeting about the Husker program several weeks back.

"Given where the kids lives, he did need to get out (of state)," Merritt said. "He needs to get out of that area."

With the commitment from Thomas, the Huskers have three defensive linemen in the class, with him joining Robert Porcher IV (Orlando, Florida) and Deontre Thomas (Mustang, Oklahoma).

Guy Thomas and Porcher, both projected as D-ends, are two of four commits the Huskers have in this class from the state of Florida. (That's four if you count offensive lineman Broc Bando, who is a Lincoln native but currently at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida).

NU now has 13 known commitments in the class.

The Booker T. Washington program Thomas joins has won the last four Class 4A state championships in Florida, the first Miami-Dade County team to accomplish that feat since the playoff era began down there in 1963.

That program, along with Nebraska, are getting someone ready to work, Thomas promises.

"All I can say, 'I'm going to give you all I got.' I'm dedicated. Very dedicated. I'll do whatever it takes to help my team be the best."

Reach the writer at 402-473-7439 or bchristopherson@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraBC.


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