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Ranking the Contenders: Four-star Dedan Thomas

Dedan Thomas
Dedan Thomas (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

The recruitment of Dedan Thomas Jr. seems to be picking up steam by the week, as college coaches spent the last month dropping in to his Nevada high school, and attempting to get the talented guard on campus for visits all while reclassification rumors swirl.

Today, Rivals takes a dive into Thomas’ busy recruitment and ranks the contenders to land his pledge.

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1. HOUSTON 

The Cougars are starting to feel like the solid front-runner when it comes to the race to land Thomas’ letter of intent. Nothing is set in stone, but a chance certainly exists that Thomas will reclassify to 2023 and be ready to play for the Cougars by this time next year. That might be getting ahead of things, even if signs are starting to point in that direction.

For now, Houston will need to hold off pushes by heavy hitters such as Gonzaga, Virginia and UCLA along with in-state UNLV, if it hopes to land the four-star guard. Thomas has been on campus at UH twice, including a Sept. 30 official visit, which seems to have put the Cougars in the driver’s seat.

Things could change, sure, but it’s safe to say Kelvin Sampson and company feel good about where they stand.

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2. GONZAGA

Head coach Mark Few recently dropped in to see Thomas in Nevada. Now, the Bulldogs' focus is on seizing the lead in his recruitment during the in-demand prospect’s Nov. 5 visit to Spokane. The Bulldogs offered Thomas after watching him this summer and became a major player in his recruitment almost immediately after doing so.

Like Houston, the Zags seem open to the possibility of reclassification and are definitely worth watching in the weeks following hosting Thomas’ visit. Gonzaga is very much a serious player.

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3. UNLV

UNLV offers familiarity and in-state allure but has plenty of work to do if it hopes to actually land the Nevada-based guard. The fact that Thomas’ father, Dedan Thomas Sr., played for the Rebels under Jerry Tarkanian shouldn’t be ignored but doesn’t seem important enough to turn Thomas Jr. 's recruitment on its own.

UNLV will have to be taken more seriously if it gets him on campus for an official down the road.

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4. ARIZONA

The Wildcats recruited and nearly landed Thomas’ father years ago, and now seem to be in the same boat with Thomas Jr., with whom they will need to make up some ground to sign.

That said, Arizona provides a close-to-home landing place and has built a solid relationship with him over the past year. Thomas plans to take an unofficial visit to Arizona on Oct. 28.

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5. FLORIDA

Thomas plans to visit Florida but has not announced a date for such a trip just yet. He has relationships with multiple members of the Gators’ staff, but UF remains a dark horse at best until an official visit actually takes place.

Thomas says his trip to Gainesville might come sometime this winter, but remains relatively vague about an actual date. Florida is worth monitoring as a live underdog when it comes to this battle.

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