Talented Florida athlete 'hungry as ever' after picking up Clemson offer

by - Recruiting Reporter -
Thomas likes the physicality Clemson plays with on defense. (Photo per Thomas' Twitter account)
Thomas likes the physicality Clemson plays with on defense. (Photo per Thomas' Twitter account)

The state of Florida has been a fertile recruiting ground for Clemson in recent years, especially at the skill positions. Clemson returned to Florida with an offer for a 2022 prospect, and the Tigers are hoping to add another talented skill player from the talent-rich state.

Azareyeh Thomas picked up a Clemson offer on October 27th, adding to an already impressive offer list for the ’22 athlete. The 6-3, 175-pound prospect from Niceville (FL) stars on both sides of the ball in high school, and the Tigers have come calling with an offer on the defensive side of the ball. Currently listed as a 4-star by 247Sports, Thomas is rated as the No. 100 player overall in the ’22 class and the No. 8 athlete in the nation.

Thomas’ Clemson recruitment is being handled by defensive backs coach Mike Reed, with Thomas’ high school coach letting him know the news of a Clemson offer.

“I’ve talked to coach Reed for a while now but he actually had a great relationship with my coach over the past few months and he told my coach about the offer. They really love my film and how I play the game,” Thomas told TigerNet of the Clemson offer. “He’s a very real coach and he keeps it real with me. And that’s what I like, you can tell he’s a great person outside of football.”

Athleticism runs in Thomas’ family, with both of his brothers being football stars at Niceville HS. Thomas’ brother, Juanyeh, is currently a safety at Georgia Tech, and now Thomas is in the spotlight as a Division 1 recruit.

“It didn’t feel real, it was crazy,” Thomas said of the Clemson offer. “Growing up watching my older brothers, Azende and Juanyeh, talk to schools and get offers, I couldn’t wait to be just like them, I looked up to them. So now that I’m in that same position, it’s crazy. But I know I put the work in to get here, so it’s just a blessing. I’m still not done though. I’m hungry as ever.”

Thomas is still collecting offers in his recruitment and building relationships with the schools that continue to come calling.

“The most important out of everything is building relationships, and a place that make me feel like I’m home,” Thomas said of his factors in choosing a school. “And a scheme that fits my play style and puts me in a position to be successful.”

At 6-3, schools are intrigued by the fact that Thomas can line up at multiple positions on defense. What does Thomas feel like are his strengths on the field?

“My length, I’m 6-3 but I move like I’m 5-10,” he said. “My versatility as well. I see myself in a program that runs a lot of man-to-man defensive schemes. I feel like with the length and speed that I have, it would benefit how I play my game and put me in a position to be my best self.”

With a Clemson offer now in play for Thomas, what does Thomas like about Clemson and their defense?

“They have played really great. They play very physical and they have some dogs on their defense, as well,” Thomas said of the Clemson defense. “I like their fanbase, how their defense plays with physicality, and how they run things over there.”

Aside from football, Thomas is also a member of the basketball and track team. Thomas was selected to the 2020 Northwest Daily News' Dandy Dozen, also being named as his team’s defensive MVP in 2019. What kind of person and player will a school be getting from Thomas?

“A player that’s going to work for everything and never expect handouts,” he said. “A respectful, passionate player that loves the game of football and will do anything for the team to succeed and win.”

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