Seeking playmakers on the back end in Alex Grinch's attacking defense, Washington State added a ballhawking safety prospect from Southern California who verbally committed over the summer and never wavered.
Skyler Thomas, a three-star safety from Perris, Calif., officially signed his letter of intent Wednesday, wrapping up a recruitment that dates back to early July when he committed with fellow Ground Zero teammate and WSU signee, Grant Porter.
The 5-foot-11, 174 pound strong safety, who was recruited by Roy Manning and Alex Grinch, picked the Cougars over offers from Hawaii, Idaho, Montana State, Nevada, Northern Arizona, UNLV and Wyoming. He took an official visit to Pullman two weeks ago with several other Washington State commits.
The Citrus Hill standout is rated a composite three-stars and the No. 166 overall prospect in California, according to 24/7 Sports. Scout, who also rates Thomas as three-star prospect, ranks him the No. 18 safety in the state.
As a senior, Thomas tallied 65 tackles, eight tackles-for-loss, four sacks, two interceptions, 11 passes defended and three forced fumbles. It's expected that Thomas will redshirt in 2016, though his versatility is intriguing.
Extremely fast game speed.
Looking at recruits...let's all reflect on how God damn fast Skyler Thomas is for a second. Caught and stripped btwhttps://t.co/U2OAUbWAMJ— Brian Anderson (@b17anderson) July 8, 2015
Thomas was moved all around their defense, and projects to fill in somewhere in the Cougar secondary, probably the free safety spot. He plays downhill extremely well when close to the line of scrimmage and was best playing off in coverage, reading the ball in the air and closing. The first few minutes of his highlight package are devoted to showcasing his return skills, which might actually put him on the field more quickly than cracking the two-deep in the secondary. WSU has a need for a dynamic return man and Thomas could fill that need right away, if he's reliable and the speed translates. Thomas is one of the more exciting prospects, both because of how he was under-recruited and how the staff will utilize him.
Rivals - ★★
Scout - ★★★
24/7 Sports - ★★★
ESPN - ★★
Composite - ★★★
Position — Safety
Hometown — Perris, Calif.
Height — 5-foot-11
Weight — 174 pounds