Move over, UTEP and Isaac Hamilton, you have been replaced for most surprising five-star decision of the early signing period.
Late Tuesday night, five-star junior college freshman shooting guard Chris Thomas of Marianna (Fla.) Chipola College didn't just commit to Manhattan; he signed his letter of intent, making him official.
Thomas is one of the more interesting cases to come along the recruiting trail in some time, and the path that led him to Manhattan was a long one.
A native of Denver who attended high schools in Maryland and then Arizona before ending up in prep school last year, Thomas was originally a member of the high school class of 2013.
Last winter, Thomas left prep school and enrolled in Chipola. At the same time, the 6-foot-5 shooting guard made a verbal commitment to Xavier. After the summer, Thomas de-committed from the Musketeers and took some time before making his way to Manhattan.
Jaspers assistant Rasheen Davis played a big role in Thomas' signing. The point man on Thomas' recruitment to Xavier, his presence in Manhattan no doubt helped head coach Steve Masiello seal the deal.
A scoring machine with great size and good athleticism, Thomas is an off-the-dribble attacker who scores in bunches. At times his emotions get the best of him, but when he's dialed in he is as competitive a player as there is.
Possibly an even bigger benefit with Thomas is that he will have three years at Manhattan should he not leave early. His early enrollment at Chipola has put him in a position to finish in time to make it to Manhattan by September 2013 and begin play as a sophomore.
Thomas joins point guard Tyler Wilson as an early signee for Manhattan.
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