After initially missing out on five star quarterback Max Browne, there was some confusion as to what direction the Sooners would go with their next offer at the position in this 2013 class. There were several names out there, Brayden Scott, Kelly Hilinski, Cody Thomas, and Hayden Rettig but no one really knew just where OU offensive coordinator/QB coach Josh Heupel was leaning.
Some of the mystery was revealed when news broke that Colleyville's (TX) Cody Thomas had received the coveted offer just a few weeks ago. However because Thomas is a highly regarded baseball prospect and was in the midst of his season, there was some question as to whether or not he would be OU's primary focus. There had been considerable talk that Heupel was planning a trip to California to watch Rettig throw and that an offer was definitely possible.
That talk all ended today however with the news that Thomas committed to the Sooners Wednesday night.
Thomas is arguably the best pure quarterback in a very talented 2013 quarterback class and could prove to be one of the top overall pro-style QBs in this entire class. As we mentioned, he's a pretty highly touted baseball prospect and with that as you'd likely suspect he has an outstanding arm. He is a player who can make every throw you would ever ask a quarterback to make, but it's not just about pure arm strength with him. He has shown the ability to put a good touch on the ball when asked to do so and displays good accuracy even though he's still learning to play the position.
Thomas plays in a spread system that consistently puts him in the shotgun, so he'll need to work on dropping back from under center. It also does not demand that he sit in the pocket and go through multiple reads, so that is another aspect of his game that will require work at the next level. He is an above average athlete and while he won't necessarily beat you with his legs outside the pocket, he does display more than enough athleticism to move around and make plays when facing pressure.
Given his talents on the baseball diamond and the fact that he could very well be drafted by a major league baseball team at some point, you have consider that risk in making the initial offer and then accepting his commitment. The Sooners have been down this road before, just recently in fact, with Archie Bradley. The main difference between Bradley and Thomas is that the latter is not a pitching prospect nor is he projected to go as high as Bradley went in the MLB draft. Both are obvious positives for Oklahoma and their chances of eventually getting Thomas on campus. The downside with this kind of commitment is the threat of that MLB money being too much to pass up, as it is for many kids fortunate enough to be in this position. The threat of a potential baseball career did not prevent schools like Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, LSU, Notre Dame, Oregon, TCU, and USC among others from offering Thomas.
Clearly, this was a risk Heupel and the OU coaches felt was worth taking and not just because of Thomas' upside as a prospect. Not to get way ahead of ourselves, but there are several top 2014 quarterback prospects (a couple in-state actually) the Sooners have already begun evaluating. So this may be a situation where the OU coaches felt Thomas was worth the risk and if he does eventually go the baseball route, they won't be completely hung out to dry because of those 2014 prospects.
But that is all talk for another time. For now, we can simply celebrate the Sooners landing their 2013 quarterback and an incredibly talented one in that.
Welcome to Sooner Nation Cody!