Notre Dame A Favorite For Rivals250 WR Jayden Thomas
Atlanta Pace Academy class of 2021 wide receiver Jayden Thomas announced his top five schools list on Friday.
"I am down to Georgia, Notre Dame, Arkansas, Michigan and Penn State," Thomas told Rivals.com's Chad Simmons. "Those are the schools I am pretty much locked in on now. I don't really see the list changing, so I would say there is a very good chance that when I commit and sign, it will be with one of these schools."
The 6-2, 205-pound playmaker visited Notre Dame last November for the Virginia Tech game and landed an offer from the Irish during his visit.
“When I was there, it was eye-opening,” Thomas told BlueandGold.com. “I didn’t know much about Notre Dame. I knew that they had a high academic standard, but I didn’t know about how it’s all about the 40-year plan.”
Notre Dame kicked around the idea of going after Thomas as a defensive back, and while he potentially could end up moving to defense if receiver doesn’t work out, the Irish staff loves his ability at receiver and have been coming after him hard at that position in recent months.
“He’s very coachable,” Pace Academy head coach Ricky Slade said. “When your best player is a guy who is the most coachable, everyone else just falls in line and it makes my job much easier. He has no problem taking scout team reps. He’ll do whatever you ask him to do. He'll punt if you need him to. I’ll bring him down with my defensive linemen on third-and-long situations and rush the passer.”
Along with being one of the nation’s best receivers, Thomas is a standout baseball player as well. A handful of schools are open to him playing two sports at their University, including Notre Dame.
On Tuesday, Notre Dame sent him a nifty graphic that put him alongside two other dual-sport players in recent Irish history– Cole Kmet and Golden Tate.
Kelly visited Pace Academy back in January to show the Irish’s strong interest in Thomas. It’s also an institution with strong Notre Dame connections, as the head of school is Fred Assaf, the father of Irish running back Mick Assaf.
Thomas ranks as the No. 131 overall player and No. 23 receiver nationally, plus the No. 11 prospect in the state of Georgia.
According to his team's MaxPreps page, Thomas has hauled in 83 passes for 1,224 yards and eight touchdowns during his high school career.
"I am thinking it will happen sometime during the season," Thomas said of a commitment. "I could wait and do it December 22, to honor my mom on her birthday, but I am not sure yet.
"If I find out we can take visits this fall, then I will likely at least wait until after the visits. If we can't take visits, then we will just see how I feel. It could come a little sooner or later."
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