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Sources: Thomas chose Oregon over safety concerns for him, family

De'Anthony Thomas

In the final days before National Signing Day, highly-recruited athlete De’Anthony Thomas made a last-second trip to Oregon and rumors swirled that the Ducks had made a late surge for Thomas’ talents. On Wednesday evening, Thomas confirmed those rumors by officially, and emotionally, committing to Oregon over USC.

But there are some new — and quite disturbing — developments involving Thomas’ commitment.

According to an e-mail sent to, Thomas, a Los Angeles native, witnessed a murder while at a party and helped police identify the gang members in question. As a result, a hit was reportedly put on Thomas and his family by members of the accused gang.

Thomas then decided to commit to Oregon over his hometown university for fear of his own safety. There has been no official word about what his family will do. The e-mail reads:

He actually isn’t a punk. He is a good kid. What happened is, he was at a
party and some gang bangers killed a guy. He did the right thing and
cooperated with the police and they arrested the murderers. As a result
of his cooperation, the gang bangers put a hit on him and his family. The
hit is credible and they truly fear for their lives. As a result, he shot
up to Oregon and decided to go there to get away from the threat. That is
why he was crying when he made the announcement. He was the kid in the
class that was actively recruiting other recruits to come to USC. He did
us a tremendous favor by recruiting kids to SC and forestalling his
announcement until after we had our 30 guys.

The kid is heartbroken.

The sources in this story have remained anonymous, so all of this has to be taken with a grain of salt. Obviously, no kid should ever have to make a decision like this based on fearing for his, or his family’s, life (no kid should ever have to fear for his life in general), but I’m sure I speak for a lot of people when I say I hope this is nothing more than an unfounded rumor and Thomas genuinely wanted to go to Oregon.

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21 Responses to “Sources: Thomas chose Oregon over safety concerns for him, family”
  1. lbijake says: Feb 6, 2011 8:05 PM

    That is sad. he should be safe as any bangers will probably stand out in Oregon.

  2. sgtpeppers05 says: Feb 6, 2011 8:59 PM

    riiiiiiiiight, there are no thugs in Eugene!

    I have to run, I need to meet Jeremiah and LaGarette at bible group.

  3. jupe says: Feb 6, 2011 10:35 PM

    don’t even need gps to find eugene. 110 to INT 5, north 750 miles

  4. cubano76 says: Feb 6, 2011 10:41 PM


  5. pwt3 says: Feb 6, 2011 11:18 PM

    I can’t believe this BS is being posted here as if it’s credible. If you have some legitimate source, fine. But this is a USC fan saying this. Fans of top programs like this ALWAYS have “off the field” stories like this to explain away huge recruiting defections. The idea is to change the story from being the rising team, Oregon, stealing a huge recruit from USC’s backyard at the last minute. How can you fall for this?

  6. ama3dablam says: Feb 7, 2011 12:34 AM


    let’s see, i’m afraid for my life, ok, maybe i move somewhere else, but i’m pretty easy to find if i’m an ncaa football player in the next state. i better change my name or disappear a lot more.

    let’s see, i’m also afraid for my family’s life… so i leave them in LA to die?

    ha ha haha, great investigation.

  7. 2loko says: Feb 7, 2011 5:25 AM

    Citing Bleacher Report??!?! Maybe for a story on the 10 Most Overweight Offensive Coordinators

  8. overratedgators says: Feb 7, 2011 7:58 AM

    Sad story if true, but does he really think playing football on TV every fall Saturday afternoon (at ANY school) is the best way to keep a low profile?

  9. alkscout says: Feb 7, 2011 8:16 AM

    I find it odd that PFT/CFT will use absolutely erroneous sites and sources like Bleacher Report for recruiting related stories, but when the Cushing scandal was going on they ignored sources from the major recruiting services and actual players who emailed them specifically citing what he did in high school, college and is still doing, even down to exact drug dosages and schedules of taking them.

    Heck, I don’t know Florio or Silva (Mr. I have to be part of the story), but I’ve talked to Ben in the past (good guy) and this is an even bigger surprise.

    Just shaking my head.

  10. ndreece says: Feb 7, 2011 10:01 AM

    Really? You are posting this as a story because some SC fan sent an email to their fan site? This is embarrassing. Maybe you should vet your sources before posting a “story”. Pathetic.

  11. burntorangehorn says: Feb 7, 2011 11:57 AM

    There’s always some question of legitimacy in these kinds of stories, but it’s especially suspect when it’s a Bleacher Report article citing an anonymous fansite poster’s anecdote.

  12. 11inthebox says: Feb 7, 2011 12:13 PM

    People are questioning this? Really?

    This site is driven by rumor and innuendo. We all know that. I can’t believe so many people here have the nerve to get all righteously indignant about this ‘story.’ Sure, its unfounded ( as of now) but so is just about everything else on this site. I don’t understand why this is any different.

  13. soflatrojan says: Feb 7, 2011 12:44 PM

    The story before NSD went like this;

    1) Mamba is a huge Nike fan and was given a bunch of free clothes on his trip. The pictures posted after his trip seem to confirm this he was Oregon head to toe including shoes and socks.

    2) Oregon did a presentation showing Mamba how Nike takes care of Oregon in college and how Nike takes acare of Oregon players in the pros.

    3) Snoop Dog who gave him the name “Black Mamba” had a deal with Nike to do some commercials and get his youth football league sponsored if he delivered the Mamba. He did take Snoop’s son on his official to Oregon.

    4) They were some talk about Nike and his high school.

    This may be all B.S. but it did come from some people very close to the USC program.

  14. soflatrojan says: Feb 7, 2011 12:47 PM

    Also for what its worth the Mamba/Murder story came out a few days ago and most USC fans were calling B.S.

    The Nike/Mamba story came from multiple very good sources at USC. Once source is very close to Heritage Hall and I have never seen him wrong about anything USC. In fact he breaks alot of the USC stories.

  15. gatorfan1 says: Feb 7, 2011 1:17 PM


    Since you never post anything that is correct on this blog, EVER…you obviously don’t use this “credible” source yourself. Now that I think about it, I would find it highly unlikely you would have any clue on what cridible is????

  16. gatorfan1 says: Feb 7, 2011 1:22 PM


    Before you try to obfuscate the “content” of my post. The last word was supposed to be “credible”!!

  17. soflatrojan says: Feb 7, 2011 2:42 PM

    You can think whatever you want I find your little rant comical.

    Oh and pot meet kettle talk about someone who never brings anything to the conversation.

  18. crobertswc78 says: Feb 7, 2011 3:39 PM

    Did anyone tell the kid that between UCLA and USC he’s probably going to play in LA every year? Did they mention the gangbangers might be able to purchase a roadmap to Eugene? Does he plan to never go home to visit his family in LA? It seems like if he was really afraid someone close to him might have said, “hey, how ’bout you go to some school in the Midwest.”

  19. burntorangehorn says: Feb 7, 2011 4:08 PM

    soflatrojan–really? It’s possible to be a Nike fan?

    “Damn, I wish I could get my hands on some tickets to watch Nike take on Reebok! Go Nike!”

    Seriously, a kid would be dumb enough to take a brand–and an inferior brand, at that–into account when choosing a school. Of course, these are kids who also consider things like magnets on limousines, too, so it’s not like it would be any kind of surprise.

  20. gatorfan1 says: Feb 7, 2011 4:16 PM


    Oh yeah…YOU bring so much….

  21. hawkinsob says: Feb 7, 2011 6:57 PM

    So a fan of the school that is on probation over improper gifts being given to a player and his family tells us that he believes that something improper has happened at a rival conference school because…he heard from a guy who knows a guy who knows somebody who is really close to another source who has never been wrong about anything that something went on.

    That’s good enough for me.

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