Another official visit weekend, but the bat signals were activated merely a few hours into the start. It wasn’t a recruit attending the visit but actually someone who had visited prior.
The Bears got a surprise commitment on Friday afternoon from 2022 DL Curlee Thomas IV. He was a priority target for the Bears and was recruited heavily by fellow official visit attendees in Jaxson Moi and Nate Burrell.
The 6-4 240 pound edge rusher from Fort Worth, Texas held 42 offers from a variety of P5 and G5 schools. He was literally coming off his Oklahoma State official visit when he committed.
(He posted this picture with HC Mike Gundy just 2 hours before he posted his commitment video)
This is what SGBear has to say about how he looks on video.
“Curlee Thomas plays DE in Nolan Catholic’s four-man defensive front.
Curlee is a reallty interesting prospect, as you can see in his highlight reel. The first thing I noticed is that he has very long arms even for a guy of his height. And he’s got all sorts of quirky elements that might make a technique-oriented coach arch an eyebrow -- like his unusually low four-point stance despite playing edge, a very long stride that makes it look like he has a leisurely pace, and his willingness to take on his blocker head-on.
But that’s when the magic happens… he straight up destroys his blockers. And it’s not luck. Time and time again, you see his opponents get violently jolted upwards by Curlee’s long arms that offensive linemen can’t counter well. His blockers – even guys much bigger than him - start buckling backward. Curlee makes it look so effortless. He has another gear, which is fast enough to track down QBs and RBs in the backfield. He consistently plays with a good motor, persistence, and vision toward the ball. And those long arms allow him to quickly disengage from blockers and snare ball carriers in a wide area around him.
He already is a beast of a player, but there is near limitless upside. He is a next-level gifted athlete that I think belies his mere 3 stars. He said that he’ll play ‘Edge’, which I suspect means he’ll play the hybrid DE/OLB (ie, the heavier OLB). Iron sharpens iron and Cal is already loaded in the box. Cal’s recent history of having personnel disadvantages is no more.
Finally, Curlee told another media outlet that if he could pick entrance music, he would choose ‘Turn Down for What’. Ok. Let’s make it semi-official. Introducing… Curlee Thomas IV and the California Golden Bears.”
Welcome to Berkeley, Curlee!
He wins with power a lot, and in HS he can get away with both arms on the tackle for leverage, his arms are just longer keeping his chest clean. At the CFB level, he will need to develop more moves and hopefully a one-arm move to really take advantage of his length. However, things you can't coach: motor and "I hate every QB to walk the planet" energy he plays with are premium at the position.
"He was literally coming off his Oklahoma State official visit when he committed. " Where will I spend the next four years of my life? Stillwater, Oklahoma or Berkeley, California? Hmmmmm.... let me think about this....