- Derek Tyson, RecruitingNation
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Running back Racean "Roc" Thomas, the 34th-ranked player in the country, verbally committed to Auburn on Friday.
The 5-foot-11, 202-pound back from Oxford, Ala., chose the Tigers' offer over those from Florida, Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Georgia and Clemson, among many others. The four-star athlete said it was his comfort level with Auburn that led to his decision.
"I really feel like it was the school for me," Thomas said. "Whenever I come up here, they treat me like family. They run the same offense as my high school, so it's a good fit. I've had a great relationship with coach [Gus] Malzahn. The first day I met him I knew he was a good guy. He didn't tell me things I just wanted to hear, he told me things I needed to hear. He was honest with me from day one."
Thomas said the similarities in offenses should help him get acclimated to the college game.
"I feel like I can come out of the backfield and do a lot of great things in this offense," Thomas said. "I have good hands, good speed and good balance. They can send me on routes and I can catch the ball."
Auburn currently has the No. 17-ranked recruiting class, but Thomas thinks the Tigers are building something special.
"We are building a great class," he said. "We have a lot of athletes. Really, we are moving up; we have a lot of players that are committed and we have a lot of leaders in this class."
As a junior, Thomas rushed for 1,768 yards and 24 touchdowns. He has amassed 3,300 yards rushing and 44 touchdowns over the past two years combined.
The Tigers have 14 commitments, including seven in the ESPN 300. Thomas becomes the ninth commit with a four-star ranking or better.