Reche Thomas visited the Massachusetts Minutemen campus at Amherst on January 23 and soon after gave his verbal commitment. Seeing snow must have been a shock for the Vero Beach, Florida native but that didn't stop him from choosing UMass.
Thomas is one of the highest rated offensive lineman commit to UMass in a while. 247 Sports and ESPN have him as a three star prospect and Rivals lists him as a two star. Both 247 and ESPN have Thomas ranked as the 69 and 64th ranked OT in the country and 150 and 156 player in the state of Florida respectively.
This is a big win for UMass, not only did they get one heck of a prospect but also stole one from the dreaded Big Ten. You can keep your College Football National Championship trophy B1G, the MAC will keep Thomas. He was once committed to Purdue over the summer and into the fall but committed and held a bevy of offers from Illinois, South Florida, FIU, Temple, and Western Kentucky.
Vero Beach went 11-1 last season and won the District 8-8A championship with Thomas playing right tackle. While he is listed as a tackle prospect on most sites, baynews9.com has him as a guard and that seems to suite his game more in the college game. He is the second Florida commit for UMass.
Unlike a lot of high school lineman Reche has the size coming into school. He is listed anywhere from 305-328 pounds but even at 305 he is still at a weight that would allow him to compete to start right away. Whether he will play guard or tackle is irrelevant as he will add not only depth but talent to the Minutemen line. Even better from UMass is that he has reportedly shut down his recruiting process. According to Ray from twitter Reche has one heck of a punch against pass rushers.
@Reche_Thomas55 feel bad for the next d end to play against umass those punches almost broke my mf neck— ray㊝ (@raythalightskin) January 26, 2015
But don't take his word for it. Check out his play for yourself via Hudl: