After an impressive junior campaign that saw Caleb Thomas run off with PAC 5 Most Valuable Player honors, it was only a matter of time before college football programs started to make a run at the tight end/defensive lineman through an enticing scholarship offer.
Sure enough, San Jose State emerged as the first Football Bowl Subdivision program to try and pilfer Thomas – as the 2019 prospect confirmed to The Times on Friday afternoon that the Spartans became the first program to offer him.
“It’s an unbelievable moment in my life,” Thomas said. “It’s a milestone I’ve wanted to achieve my whole life.”
Thomas became a difficult player to game plan for against PAC 5 teams – as his size and explosion off the snap disrupted running plays on defense. His 6-foot-4, 265-pound frame then enabled him to become an extra receiving security blanket for Warriors quarterback Brandon Giddings.
Thomas cited two Spartan coaches who helped set up the offer: Quarterbacks coach Ryan Gunderson (the Central Coast recruiter for SJSU) and offensive line coach Joe Bernardi. The latter coach is no stranger to recruiting 805 regional players, as he recently nabbed St. Bonaventure offensive line standout Tyler Ostrom for the 2018 class.
“They had just said that they were watching my film and they were impressed,” Thomas said.
Thomas drew additional support from his peers on social media as the likes of Lompoc High’s Toa Taua, Arroyo Grande’s Jed Rantz and former Atascadero High standout and current Nevada football/basketball player Elijah Cooks offered a congratulatory tweet toward the newest SJSU target.
San Jose State has had an active week on the recruiting trail – as 2019 players from the Central Valley to the Antelope Valley took to their Twitter accounts to announce that they became a recipient of a Spartans offer along with Thomas.
Thomas, who will be entering his third season on varsity this fall, says San Jose State is the first college to be in serious talks with him. He adds that he plans to take a trip to Silicon Valley and visit the Mountain West Conference campus in the near future.
Lastly, Thomas now becomes the latest Righetti Warrior to surface on a FBS program’s radar – as past players include Steve Spadarotto (Missouri), Troy Artopeus (San Diego State), Conor Regan (Northern Colorado), Matt Holt (Fresno State) and countless of others. Thomas hopes that future high school players in the Santa Maria Valley can consider RHS as a place that can help get their name out to a college coach at the FBS or Football Championship Subdivision level.
“I hope young guys deciding on high schools realize that you too can get looked at while at Righetti just as well as any other high school in the area,” Thomas said.