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Notre Dame Football Recruiting

Film Don't Lie | Jayden Thomas

October 2, 2020
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Only a few days after getting Deion Colzie‍ back in the fold, another Georgia receiver made it official when Jayden Thomas‍ committed to Notre Dame. He’s another big-body on the outside and landing more than one in this class had to be a priority.

A two-sport standout who plays both ways for Pace Academy, Thomas is a good athlete who should see his game grow a lot once he focuses on one side of the ball. It’s another good pickup for the Irish who are quietly putting together a top-10 class this cycle.

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 205

Projected Position: Athlete

ISD Grade: 90 (4-star)

National Average Grade: 89.9 (4-star)

What he does best:

Thomas is not a burner, he ran a 4.63 at an Opening regional camp as a sophomore, but he is a long strider that eats up ground. He’s not going to run by corners with elite speed. He will be able to test them down the field because he builds up speed.

via GIPHY

He has good ball skills. I think most people assume that means going up and high pointing the football, but it’s these kinds of catches that are just as valuable to an offense. He does a nice job separating at the catch point.

via GIPHY

It obviously doesn’t do much good unless a big body can win in contested catch situations and Thomas can do that. He shields defenders well with his body over the middle of the field and has a good catch radius.

via GIPHY

I really like what he showed as a blocker as well and that’s going to be critical to getting on the field at Notre Dame.

Thomas plays safety on defense, but he’s not someone who I envision playing deep. He’s a better fit as a box player with his length and his ability to play downhill. He’s a physical tackler.

via GIPHY

What he needs to improve:

I know his trainer, former Georgia receiver Terrance Edwards, has praised him as a route runner, but I thought he didn’t look as crisp as I wanted him to be out of his breaks. He flashes some quickness in a short area and I want to see more of that.

I’m not sure how much a turf toe injury during his junior season might have had an impact on that so that is something to keep in mind.

I think he is capable of more after the catch. He may not be the most elusive guy in the open field, but YAC is critical for a receiver in college football and I’d like to see more from him with the football in his hands.

This is all if he sticks at receiver and I wouldn’t say that’s something set in stone.

What’s his ceiling?

Thomas’ ceiling is hard for me to pinpoint based on what I’ve seen because I like his ball skills, toughness, and size. He’s a coordinated athlete who can run and I’m always a fan of multi-sport athletes (baseball) who also play multiple positions on the football field. He hasn’t specialized yet so there should be a lot of room for growth.

I’m curious to see if he shows that extra burst with his speed as a senior and if he can be a bit more explosive. If he can, then I think he has the potential to be a starter for Notre Dame and potentially a quality number two option at receiver

I could see Thomas playing the boundary or playing “X” for Notre Dame. He’s also a big skill athlete who could project to safety or possibly even Rover. It’s an intriguing addition because of his position flexibility.

 
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