June 21, 2016
ANN ARBOR – During Michigan’s ongoing satellite camp tour, Jim Harbaugh consistently noticed a discrepancy he didn’t like.
So, the Michigan coach yelled about the overabundance of wide receivers and suggested they try out at defensive back. Ambry Thomas is not a player he would need to argue that point with.
Thomas, a four-star recruit from Detroit Martin Luther King High School, is a cornerback and wide receiver. He’s open to playing both positions in college and said Michigan is recruiting him for both sides of the ball, but his preference is at defensive back.
“Whatever gets me on the field faster,” he said during the Sound Mind Sound Body camp on June 9 in Detroit, “I’m cool with it.”
Thomas, 5-foot-11 and 174 pounds, is the No. 2 player in the state of Michigan, No. 16 cornerback and No. 140 player overall in the 2017 class, according to 247 Sports Composite rankings. He had four catches for 72 yards and a touchdown in King’s 40-38 win over Lowell in the Division 2 state championship last season.
Thomas is the cousin of Jaylen Kelly-Powell, a Michigan target and four-star safety from Detroit Cass Tech, and the two have talked about going to the same school. In March, Thomas tweeted a list of his top 13 schools at the time. Two of those programs – Michigan State and Michigan – are among those that still stand out, along with UCLA, he said during Sound Mind Sound Body.
Like many other recruits, Thomas is intrigued by Michigan, in large part, because of second-year coach Jim Harbaugh.
“How Harbaugh turned that program back around, back on track – that’s outstanding,” he said. “Imagine when he gets some players that he actually recruited into the system. It’s going to be a really good feeling.”
Thomas has more than 35 offers and the list includes Ohio State, Notre Dame and Florida. He said he won’t make a commitment until after his senior season, but will do so before signing day.
“I’m going to wait it out,” he said, “have fun, take all my officials.”
Thomas will have the opportunity to make an impression on coaches in camps this summer. In addition to Sound Mind Sound Body, he lined up against four-star receiver Nico Collins in Ann Arbor on Friday and was at Arkansas this weekend as well. Thomas will also compete at the Nike The Opening Finals July 5-10 in Oregon. He earned an invitation through his performance at the regional in Columbus, Ohio, while posting a 40-yard dash time of 4.48.
“I’ll go against the best guys in the country,” Thomas said of the event. “I ain’t scared of competition. If I see you doing good out there, I see your receiver, I’m going to challenge you. Show me you’re good.”