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The nation's top-rated defender, Florence native and five-star defensive end
Xavier Thomas, signed his NLI with Clemson Wednesday morning.
After receiving offers nationwide, Thomas narrowed his choices in-state, picking Clemson over childhood favorite South Carolina.
Thomas moved down to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida for his senior season, compiling 34 tackles, 12 QB hurries, eight tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.
More on Thomas...
Xavier Thomas - 5-star SDE - IMG Academy (Fla.)
Commit since: 4/8/17
Recruiter: Danny Pearman
Listed size: 6-3 263
Brings to Clemson: Thomas is an imposing force off the edge who's earned his status as the nation's No. 1 defender. The elite combination of speed and strength makes him a defender to gameplan for from day one, which he displayed in a step-up in competition level from the practice field to the playing field at IMG Academy.
Clemson quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter said during Clemson's signing day show that Thomas is a great kid and has a relentless motor.
"It's hard to find a better one than this one now," Streeter said. "This guy is all over the place. Talk about being disruptive, getting in the backfield. It's so special on the edges with our defensive line and he's going to fit and be a really good fit for us...A great kid from a great family and I'm just excited. He's a special talent."
Depth chart fit: Depending on how some NFL decisions go on the D-line, Thomas is a sure-fire candidate to move right up to the top. Enrolling early gives him that much more of an edge in that area.
Number to know: 165 - Thomas' tackle total over the last two seasons, playing one at Wilson (Florence S.C.) and the other at IMG.