Five-star defensive end Xavier Thomas on Saturday made good on his promise that he would play college football in his home state.
The 6-foot-3, 265-pound Thomas, who is from Florence but will be playing his senior season at IMG Academy in Florida, has said he would return home and play for Clemson or South Carolina. He made the call for the Tigers on Saturday.
Thomas committed Saturday while at Clemson for the Tigers’ spring game.
Thomas has been a top Gamecocks target since Will Muschamp became head coach and has visited the USC campus numerous times, including a week ago for the spring game.
He had this to say to South Carolina in the commitment announcement made via Twitter:
“To the USC staff and fans – Thank you!” Thomas wrote. “They were all so good to me and I will always be grateful for all the love they have shown me and the family and I wish them the best.”
Thomas originally planned to announce a commitment in December but accelerated that time frame by eight months in making his decision public Saturday. He told Muschamp of the decision on Thursday.
“I have been talking to my family, and I just wanted to go ahead and get this out of the way,” Thomas told Phil Kornblut. “I knew Clemson was where I wanted to be, and I didn’t see a reason to put it off any longer. I knew in my heart this is where I wanted to be, and I know it’s the right decision. That is why I took those last two trips to South Carolina. I wanted to make sure. So I went back to Columbia, and after the visit last weekend I really knew for sure.”