ORLANDO, Fla. -- Xavier Thomas, the top-ranked prospect in the Class of 2018, has Clemson and South Carolina hanging on his every word.
The explosive, 6-foot-3, 259-pound edge-rusher is the most impactful prospect to come out of the Palmetto State since Jadeveon Clowney in 2011.
Last Friday, Thomas tweeted out a date that Tigers and Gamecocks fans will have circled on calendars.
I will be making my college decision on December 20, my birthday.
— Xavier Thomas 1️⃣9️⃣ (@atxlete) February 25, 2017
That means there is roughly 10 month remaining for Clemson or South Carolina to make their case.
“It’ really 50-50 right now between South Carolina and Clemson,” Thomas said at Sunday’s Under Armour All-America Camp. “I’m visiting South Carolina and Clemson this week with my teammates. Also, I’m looking to see what South Carolina does with their season, and what Clemson does with their season too,”
While Thomas has maintained that his final decision will likely be between the two home-state schools, that doesn’t mean he won’t be on campus at two or three schools that could emerge as competition for the Gamecocks and Tigers with Alabama having the best shot to pull an upset.
“I’ll probably visit Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State, but I don’t have dates on those yet,”
Thomas broke down the four schools that are truly in the picture:
Clemson: “I’ve just been developing a real relationship with [Todd Bates], the D-line coach there. I talk to Coach [Dabo] Swinney a lot. ... They have the best facility I have seen.”
South Carolina: “South Carolina has been my dream school growing up, and everybody knows that by now. I’m just looking to see what they do this upcoming season, how they progress, and go from there.”
Alabama: “Alabama tells me that I can come in and play with the best players in the country, and I can make an immediate impact.”
Florida State: “They were my first offer. Coach [Brad] Lawing also tells me how much they really want me. Like I said, they were my first offer so I really have to consider them.”