Throughout Drew Svoboda's coaching career, Jordan Thomas is the only freshman he's ever moved up to the varsity squad.
“We did it because we knew he could handle it,” Svoboda said. “He played cornerback most of his freshman year on an 11-1 football team.”
Thomas played virtually every non-lineman position on offense and defense over the past four seasons at Klein Collins High in Texas and will sign with Oklahoma on Wednesday.
Svoboda said what Thomas apart from almost any other player he's coached is his remarkable football intelligence.
“He's a concept guy,” Svoboda said. “With guys who understand it at that level, you can make tweaks and adjustments, and they're able to comprehend them. He's very well rounded, but it all goes back to his understanding of the game. You can only be that versatile if you truly understand the schemes.
“Sometimes you worry about exposing them to too much too early. He was only 14 years old, but we knew ability-wise he could do it and intellectually he could handle it. We needed to solidify that corner spot, and he filled that need for the team.”
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound defensive back had been committed to Northwestern since December 2012, but made the switch after visiting Oklahoma in mid-January.
Svoboda said the Sooners had been interested in Thomas throughout most of the recruiting process, and that Thomas reached out to cornerbacks coach Bobby Jack Wright within the last month to learn more about Oklahoma.
“Bobby Jack did a good job of keeping that relationship open,” Svoboda said.