Thursday, June 21, 2012
Thomas invited to Elite 11 finals
By Bob Przybylo
The Elite 11 finals will again have an Oklahoma feel to it. The Sooners, who have had a strong history of having their committed quarterbacks participate in the competition, will again be represented.
Four-star prospect Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage), who committed to OU in May, was announced on Thursday night as one of the 24 finalists for the event.
Thomas, who is 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, is ranked No. 93 in the ESPN 150 and competed in the Dallas Elite 11 regional on March 24. He didn't win the regional, but he wasn't even sure if he was going to be able to compete in the first place. He had a baseball game earlier that afternoon and went straight from his game to Dallas Cowboys Stadium for the camp.
Baseball is playing a key role in Thomas' summer, too. He is in North Carolina for the Tournament of Stars this week, an event that is used as USA Baseball's selection vehicle for the 18U national team. Thomas, who is an outfielder, is playing for Amateur American Baseball Congress and had an RBI sacrifice fly in a loss Wednesday.
But don't question Thomas' commitment to football. Thomas was forceful in making sure OU quarterbacks coach Josh Heupel didn't forget about him during the spring despite Thomas being occupied with baseball. Thomas committed to the Sooners on May 17 and hopes to play both football and baseball at OU.
The Elite 11 finals are July 18-22 in Redondo Beach, Calif. The finals will be shown in two parts on ESPN with "Elite 11 QB Camp: The Finals" airing Tuesday, Aug. 7, and Tuesday, Aug. 14.
Three quarterbacks on OU's roster participated in the Elite 11 finals, the most of any school in the country: Landry Jones (2007), Blake Bell (2009) and Kendal Thompson (2010).
The Elite 11 hasn't always been kind to the Sooners, though. Signees Tommy Grady (2002), Rhett Bomar (2003) and Keith Nichol (2006) all participated in the finals, too, but didn't end their careers at OU.
Quarterback Archie Bradley (2010), who signed to play baseball and football with OU in 2011, will likely never play a down for the Sooners. But there are no hard feelings there as Bradley, a right-handed pitcher, signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks after being a first-round selection (No. 7 overall) in the 2011 MLB Draft.