Jayden Thomas has made his way around the camp circuit over the last few weeks. Having seen him in action, he should no longer be seen as a potential next big thing coming out of Pace Academy.
That time is now. Thomas is clearly a big thing right now at Pace Academy.
The 6-foot-1, 198-pound rising junior has easily been one of the top 10 receivers in action along back-to-back appearances at the Atlanta Opening regional and the Under Armour Atlanta regional this past Sunday. That’s in any class.
Jayden Thomas had a strong showing at the Atlanta Opening regional two weekends ago. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
Thomas also delivered the 11th-best Opening football rating at the 2019 Atlanta regional. That is very good considering the 2020 athletes on hand at that camp.
Those numbers came in like this:
- 40-yard dash: 4.63 (Laser)
- Vertical jump: 33.6 inches
- Powerball toss: 44.5 feet (The record is believed to be 47 feet.)
- Pro agility shuttle: 4.21 seconds
Thomas also caught 42 passes for 696 yards for Pace last fall. Those totals meant an average gain of 16.6 yards per catch. Those big plays led to five touchdowns.
His recruiting ranking history seems to slight him just a bit. He has zero stars and yet Thomas picked up the following offers between June and November of 2018: North Carolina, Michigan, Virginia, Ohio State and Georgia.
That Opening rating also places him among the top 35 prospects nationally who have tested so far through eight regionals.
Jayden Thomas seems to have two clear schools heavily on his mind: That’s Georgia and Ohio State. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
Jayden Thomas really likes Ohio State and UGA at this time
Thomas felt he didn’t show his best effort with his vertical jump number, but he was pleased with that laser 40-yard dash time. That’s because he really has not been training for the 40 testing because of his baseball season.
The Pace Academy has noted Thomas as one to watch for a while now. This spring was the first time where I saw the ability mesh up with the offers and the potential and his size, speed and length.
“I see that I am just getting bigger,” Thomas said, who is up about 10 pounds from his playing weight last fall. “Bigger, stronger and faster. Definitely, the weight room is helping me out. I’ve just noticed over time that I’ve gotten way faster and bigger. It is also helping me on the field.”
He felt his recruiting journey was not quite at the halfway mark but noted Georgia and Ohio State were two schools that were standing out in his mind at this time.
Jayden Thomas said his grandfather was the first African-American quarterback at Virginia Tech. That’s why he grew up a fan of the Hokies. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
“I love Georgia,” he said. “The atmosphere feels just like home. The coaches are nice. Coach [Cortez] Hankton and coach [Kirby] Smart are really nice. I really love them.”
Ask him about the Buckeyes. He’ll say pretty much the same.
“I love them, too,” he said. “You know coach [Ryan] Day came and visited me. The wide receivers coach did let me know they are still here for me. Yeah, a home feel, too.”
How does he compare the feeling at UGA to what he knows about Ohio State?
“It is kind of a different flavor,” he said. “I don’t know. They kind of both feel like home but there is just a difference. I like both of them right now. Definitely love both of the flavors.”