SHARONVILLE — Rack up another top Division I commit from Princeton High School as four-star linebacker Jaheim Thomas has decided to stay in town with the University of Cincinnati. It’s a major coup for Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell and defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman. UC hinted of the verbal putting out a black state of Ohio map (signifying a defensive recruit) on Twitter.
Thomas is nearly 6-3 and weighs 215 and is the fifth-ranked recruit in Ohio according to 247sports.com and the No. 22 outside linebacker prospect nationally. Paris Johnson Jr. (OL) who transferred from St. Xavier to Princeton is the top recruit in the state, followed by Viking teammate Darrion Henry (DL). Henry joined the “future Buckeye club” last week committing to Ryan Day and Ohio State. Johnson has been a Buckeye commit dating back to Urban Meyer’s staff.
“I’m just happy to let the world know that I’ve committed to UC,” Thomas said. “It means a lot. They’ve been recruiting me for a long time.”
The announcement was made at Pleasant Hill Elementary in College Hill, but Thomas and his family had secretly made a video at Nippert Stadium two weeks ago that was released on Twitter as Thomas reached for the white Bearcat hat. Tha other hats displayed were Michigan State, Tennessee, Kentucky, LSU, Maryland and Louisville.
“I’ve been sitting on this,” Thomas said. “I was excited waiting to let it out. I couldn’t wait to let the video out. I’m happy I did.”
Thomas had initially planned on extending his recruitment into the season but then did an “about-face” a couple weeks back. He had narrowed his list to seven and that list was eventually whittled down with the hometown Bearcats prevailing. He visited UC officially in early June.
Rahiem’s mother Lisa Thomas tipped off the announcement by wearing a white tennis dress with red and black trim. His father Melvin Thomas fought back tears telling the audience how proud he was of his son.
Also on hand were future teammates Evan Prater (quarterback) of Wyoming and Daved Jones Jr. (linebacker) of Lakota West. Both had played with Thomas in the past.
“It’s a huge get,” Prater said. “I love Jaheim. I played with him when I was younger and I can’t wait to get back on the field with him at UC.'”