Decision looms for OU QB signee Thomas

For more than a year, ESPN 300 quarterback and Oklahoma signee Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage) has talked about his desire to play quarterback for the Sooners.

It was Thomas last spring who fought hard to convince OU offensive coordinator Josh Heupel that he was worthy of being OU’s quarterback for the Class of 2013.

Thomas, an accomplished baseball player as well, has been adamant about his determination to play both sports in college.

But it’s possible Thomas will never take a snap for the Sooners. Or catch a ball in right field at L. Dale Mitchell Park in Norman. As the MLB draft begins on Thursday, Thomas is expected to be chosen during the early rounds.

The dilemma is simple. Head to Norman and try to be a quarterback in the fall and a right fielder in the spring or sign with the MLB organization that drafts him this weekend.

“They’re both equals to me,” Thomas said. “I really love baseball. I really love football. I’m going to do whatever I feel the most comfortable doing. I know I’ll make the right decision for me.”

Thomas had a stellar senior season on the gridiron. He threw for 4,154 yards with 46 touchdowns and just six interceptions. It seemed destined Thomas would see the campus in the fall.

The spring has made things more interesting, though. Thomas hit .480 with 15 home runs and 45 RBIs.

There has been talk that if Thomas were a pitcher, his stock would be even higher. Thomas said that hasn't been brought up, and he reiterated his desire to stay in the outfield.

“With the people I’ve talked with, being a pitcher has never been a topic of conversation,” Thomas said. “Right now I feel I’m a power-hitting outfielder. I’m going to do everything in my will to remain that.”

He expected the process to be a bit overwhelming, but it has been anything but that. While the football recruiting process was intense with coaches from various schools trying to make their pitch, baseball has been the opposite.

Thomas said he hasn’t had a chance to be overwhelmed because MLB representatives haven’t shown their cards to him.

Which round he’ll get drafted in, what his potential signing bonus could be, all of it is completely unknown to Thomas.

“Honestly, I’m not trying to not answer the question, but I have no idea where I’ll be drafted,” Thomas said. “There isn’t really a magic number for me in terms of what round or anything like that to guarantee I would sign. I’m not sure where I stand. Maybe on the day of the draft I’ll get a better feel about everything.”

Thomas won’t get a chance to watch the first round of the draft. He's graduating from high school on Thursday, and he said he is excited about moving to Norman this weekend to room with wide receiver Jordan Smallwood.

Baseball has mostly been the focus for Thomas this spring, except for April 13 when he returned to OU for the Red-White spring game.

“It was pretty cool,” Thomas said. “I didn’t get to see the spring game last year. I just went to a spring practice. It was a lot different. I didn’t realize how many people would actually attend the spring game. Only about 20 people show up for your high school spring game. There was like 20,000 for OU.”

Thomas said the OU coaches in both sports have been supportive and in constant communication. The plan would be to play immediately in baseball. OU baseball coach Sunny Golloway has been on record about that numerous times this spring, and Thomas said that remains the plan.

Football is a little different.

“Coach [Josh] Heupel said I’ll get the chance to compete for the starting spot,” Thomas said. “But if I don’t get it, he said I will be redshirted. I’m fine with that. I’ll get my opportunity and a chance to earn it. That’s all I want.”

Thomas said he’ll be paying attention this weekend to the baseball draft, but he has no idea what will end up being the determining factor between signing for baseball or playing both sports for the Sooners.

“It’s my life,” Thomas said. “I’m going to do what I feel is the best for me. This has been a lot like recruiting. Instead of scholarships, we’re talking money. I’ll trust my gut and make the decision when I’m ready.”