All-City running back De'Anthony Thomas of Los Angeles Crenshaw, the No. 1 college football prospect in Southern California, showed up at the City Section track and field preliminaries on Thursday at Lake Balboa Birmingham leaving little doubt about his college choice.
He was wearing a cardinal and gold USC sweat top, which didn't exactly match with his blue Crenshaw attire. Thomas didn't seem to mind. He was just relieved that he had made his college decision and didn't have to hide his feelings.
"I had a lot of pressure on my back," he said. "Now all the pressure is off. My mom is happy, my family is happy. They can come to my games and support me."
He announced Wednesday night he had committed to USC, just two days after one of his best friends, receiver Victor Blackwell of Santa Ana Mater Dei, also picked the Trojans.
Thomas, who also plays defensive back, said USC is bringing him in next year as an athlete.
"They said whatever position I wanted to play, I can come play," he said.
His decision to choose USC is big news in the Los Angeles football community. There are young kids who idolize Thomas from his youth football days when he was given the nickname "Black Mamba."
He led Crenshaw to a 14-1 record last season, when the Cougars won the City Section Division I title. He's a junior who is heavily favored to win City titles in the 100 and 200 meters this month.
He can't sign a letter of intent until next February, which means other schools are likely to continue to recruit Thomas, though he gave every indication he is satisfied with his decision.