Posted by Bryan Fischer
It's not often Nick Saban loses a recruit to another school. It's hard to figure out when was the last time he lost one to an ACC school from Alabama however, much less to a school like Georgia Tech. Such was the case Tuesday, as Prattville (Ala.) athlete Justin Thomas decommitted from the Crimson Tide and pledged to the Yellow Jackets in a stunning flip.
"The Bama people have been great about this including Coach Saban who told Justin he can always come home if he wants. I think Justin feels relieved now and he was really worried about it, but after talking with Coach Saban yesterday and today and Coach Johnson and Coach Kelly at Tech everything seems to right," Thomas' father, Milton, told JacketsOnline.com. "Justin is very happy with his decision."
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Thomas has been labeled as an athlete and was expected to enroll at Alabama as a defensive back. He had a change of heart however and wanted to play quarterback - which he did in high school - at the next level, making the speedster a perfect fit for Georgia Tech's option offense.
"Bama said they would give Justin a shot at quarterback and he believes them, but Coach (Paul) Johnson's offense is centered around guys with Justin's type of talent and Justin has a point he wants to prove to a lot of people about being a quarterback and not just an athlete," Milton Thomas said. "He has won championships at every level in every sport he has played including football and even AAU basketball. He wants to bring that to Georgia Tech now."
The younger Thomas recently led his Prattville High team to an Alabama state championship. His flip leaves the Tide with 21 commitments for the class of 2012 and gives the Yellow Jackets 14. Thomas is ranked as the 9th best athlete in the class by Maxpreps and 92nd overall.
"A QB in high school, he reminds me of Pat White, a great ballhandler with decent arm strength but who shows incredible running skills," analyst Tom Lemming said. "In the right program, he could be a difference maker at quarterback."