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Oklahoma State football: In Devon Thomas and Gyasi Akem, Cowboys already have landed two top in-state targets

Broken Arrow's Devon Thomas and Gyasi Akem, who are both rated four-star prospects by Rivals, make up two of the Cowboys' three total commitments so far, joining three-star linebacker Justin Phillips of Pearland, Texas.
BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, gmizell@opubco.com Published: May 4, 2013
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photo - TULSA UNION / HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Broken Arrow's Devon Thomas (center) runs downfield under pressure from Union's Blace Walser (left) and Chase Dahlquists (right) during the high school Class 6A state championship football game in Stillwater, Okla. on Thursday, December 1, 2011. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World
TULSA UNION / HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Broken Arrow's Devon Thomas (center) runs downfield under pressure from Union's Blace Walser (left) and Chase Dahlquists (right) during the high school Class 6A state championship football game in Stillwater, Okla. on Thursday, December 1, 2011. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World

— While carpooling to Oklahoma State's spring finale two weeks ago, Gyasi Akem had a bit of news for Broken Arrow teammate Devon Thomas.

Akem was going to join Thomas and commit to the Cowboys that day.

Thomas wasn't at all surprised.

“I knew it was going to happen,” Thomas said.

In what's expected to be a banner year for Oklahoma's high school recruiting class, OSU has already landed two top in-state targets. Thomas and Akem, who are both rated four-star prospects by Rivals, make up two of the Cowboys' three total commitments so far, joining three-star linebacker Justin Phillips of Pearland, Texas.

“Both of the kids, they look the part,” said Broken Arrow offensive coordinator coach Jay Wilkinson. “When they walk in, they look like Division I, Big 12-type athletes. They don't look like tweeners by any means.

“Obviously, both of them have the physical tools that Division I schools are looking for. Both of them have great size, great speed, move very well and obviously make plays on the field.”

The duo will join fellow Broken Arrow product Zac Veatch at OSU. But Thomas, at 5-11 and 210 pounds, was the first to be noticed by recruiters because of his combination of strength, speed and home-run ability as a running back.

Offers steadily came in, including ones from OSU and Oklahoma. The Sooners originally held Thomas' commitment, but he flipped to the Cowboys in December. Wilkinson cited OSU's offensive system being similar to Broken Arrow's as a key reason for the change, and Thomas added Cowboy running backs coach Jemal Singleton won his family over.

“He was real straightforward with me,” Thomas said of Singleton. “So we just felt like that was the best decision.”

It took longer for Akem to get recruiting attention, primarily because of a knee injury sustained a week before the season opener of his sophomore season that required surgery.

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