Jordan Thomas is an example of how Oklahoma has put itself in Playoff position. OU recruited a good kid, strong academically and with upside that belies his 3-star status.
Bob Stoops isn’t having one of those special seasons with many 5-star recruits. And not as many 4-stars as most of the great teams. But they’re taking guys like Thomas and DL Charles Walker – 3-stars who Stoops told me he “didn’t have to beat many people to get.” Hard to understand why Walker, who's physically gifted with long arms like a power forward that he's using to come on like gangbusters at just the right time for an OU defensive line that is deep with really good but not great players. Walker’s on the verge of greatness.
So is Thomas, another long-armed, physically gifted corner who at 6-1, 190 is what you’re looking for. Alabama didn’t recruit Walker and they didn’t recruit Thomas. But they’re playing like Alabama recruits right now.
Thomas is a quick-twitch DB with catch-up speed to keep up with speedy wide outs. First-year secondary coach Kerry Cooks is doing a remarkable job in teaching the DBs and bringing this group together after a run of simply awful secondary play in Norman. Cooks will tell you that Thomas’ instincts, confidence, and playmaking have helped him become perhaps the most outstanding corner in the Big 12.
Corey Coleman entered the OU-Baylor game as a Heisman candidate. He left with his team on the short end of the scoreboard after being contained like never before. After catching 15 passes for 224 yards in Norman last year, Coleman was held to three catches for 51 yards in Waco. And Thomas wasn’t covering Coleman when he caught a 37-yard go ball up the boundary. So the startling and factual numbers are just two catches for 14 yards for Coleman when the OU sophomore covered him.
Thomas, a pleasant and articulate engineering major who played piano for years growing up, told me Sunday as we were getting him set up for our halftime interview on the Bob Stoops Playback Show (Inside Sooner Football 2015), that he was shocked at Coleman’s demeanor. I told him it seemed Thomas had taken away his will. Thomas agreed – but not in a braggadocios way; more that he was confounded because he has the utmost respect for Coleman.
We addressed this very thing during my one-on-one with Jordan on Monday. Thanks for checking out our interview with Thomas, a guy I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t earn all-star honors for the next couple of years and go on to enjoy an NFL career.