Incoming Florida State linebacker Matthew Thomas would rather attend USC than Florida State, according to the player’s father.
Billy Thomas claims the would-be freshman – rated by ESPN as the top linenbacker prospect in the country and No.6 player overall – only joined the Seminoles because of his mother. The pair are no longer said to be together.
The family situation certainly appears to complicate the situation, with a separate source claiming the teenager has not told Florida State that he won’t attend, but that outside influences are affecting the situation.
Thomas must receive a release from Florida State or the National Letter or Intent Group if he is to play for USC next season, and if he enrols there without it he must sit the entire 2013 season.
It’s a move that Eddie Vanderdoes has already made this summer, switching from Notre Dame to UCLA for the price of a year.
"He made a decision for himself. It's USC," said the player’s father, according to ESPN.
"No disrespect to Florida State but Matthew is willing to take the punishment if there is one. He's hoping Jimbo (Fisher) will let him go."
"On signing day he didn't want to hurt his mom. But he's more excited now. It's about tradition. And surroundings. And excitement."
FSU have shown no sign of a willingness to release the player from his scholarship, but Thomas Snr hopes they let ‘the big fish’ go to help his development.
"Don't pull teeth that aren't loose. I know it's tough for Jimbo and Florida State. They thought they caught the big fish. But I think they ought to just release him,” he concluded.