From the beginning of his recruitment, Jackson (Miss.) native Fred Thomas has held one school at his constant front runner. On Monday night, the Jim Hill junior shooting guard decided to commit to that school and join Mississippi State's Class of 2012.
"I just called Coach Rick Stansbury tonight and told him I was ready to be a Bulldog," said the 6-foot-6 and 180-pound Thomas. "He said he was glad to have me in the family and told me to keep up the good work in the class room and on the court."
Thomas is MSU's second basketball commitment for the Class of 2012, joining Montgomery, Ala., shooting guard Craig Sword. Both were recently tabbed to Rivals.com Top 150 list for the Class of 2012.
Thomas also had an offer from UTEP and also drew interest from Georgia, Alabama, Ole Miss, Tennessee and DePaul. In the end, Thomas said it came down to MSU showing him more love.
"They've recruited me the hardest and have shown me how much they care and wanted me," said Thomas. "My family thought it was a good idea to go ahead and get it over with. I have always wanted to play for the Bulldogs so I decided there was no reason to wait."
Last year Thomas averaged 20 points, 6.3 boards and 3.6 assists a game for Jim Hill High School. Earlier this month, he helped his AAU team - Southern Phenoms - capture the AAU state title.
"It just stuck out to me a lot that Mississippi State treated me like family," said Thomas. "Now I am just focused on finishing out this last week of school on a strong note, and then focus hard on my grades and my senior year. It helps to get this decision out of the way and I am glad to know I will be part of their program."