Aphonso Thomas made a splash Friday.

The senior Van running back announced he decided to withdraw a verbal commitment he made to Nebraska in late May. He now plans to attend nearby SMU, which offered him a college football scholarship opportunity on Sept. 21.

Thomas' announcement came five days after St. Louis (Mo.) Christian Brothers College High School running back Tre Bryant committed to the Cornhuskers. Bryant is a Scout.com and 247Sports.com three-star prospect, just like Thomas (5-9, 180).

SMU is in the midst of a 1-8 season, as of publication time, ahead of today's game against Navy. But there's a lot of optimism in University Park about the future of the program under first-year head coach Chad Morris.

With Thomas, the Mustangs have 24 commitments from senior high school players. He'll ultimately contest for reps against fellow running back commitment Dae Williams from Supulpa, Okla., and seven letter winners that are tentatively slated to return next season. Some of those backs are walk-ons.

Morris, an Edgewood native as well as a former Eustace and Elysian Fields head coach, has been successful at every stop in his career.

His first overall head coaching job came in 1994 at Eustace High School. He moved on to Elysian Fields in 1998 and his success there opened doors for him at Bay City, Stephenville and then Lake Travis where he closed his high school coaching career with back-to-back Class 4A Division I state championship wins.

Morris left Lake Travis for a one-year stint as Tulsa’s offensive coordinator in 2010 before being hired away by Clemson for the same position in 2011.

Clemson went 32-7 through three seasons with Morris in the fold.

Thomas' high school career came to a close Thursday with a 48-41 loss to Liberty-Eylau in the Class 4A Division I state playoffs. He rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns in the game, which brought his 11-game total to 1,568 yards and 21 scores on the ground.

The running back holds other offers from Colorado State, Kansas, Nevada, Texas State and Stephen F. Austin. He'll become eligible to sign with any program that offers him on Feb. 3, 2016.

2016 East Texas Football Players With Division I FBS Offers

  • Austin Anderson, OL, Mineola, 6-4, 289 – committed to Texas A&M; additional offers from Arizona State, Arkansas State, Auburn, California, Cincinnati, Houston, Illinois, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, North Texas, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU, Southern Miss, TCU, Texas, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Vanderbilt (27)
  • Riley Anderson, OL, Mineola, 6-5, 287 – committed to Texas A&M; additional offers from Arizona State, Arkansas State, Auburn, California, Cincinnati, Houston, Illinois, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, North Texas, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU, Southern Miss, Texas, TCU, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Vanderbilt (27)
  • Demarco Boyd, RB/LB, Gilmer, 6-0, 215 — signed with Texas; additional offers from Baylor, Florida State, Texas A&M (4)
  • Gabe Foster, RB/DB, Newton, 6-3, 180 — offers from Arkansas State, Purdue, Texas State, ULL, ULM (5)
  • Ke’Mon Freeman, QB/ATH, Liberty-Eylau, 5-11, 188 – offers from Arkansas State, North Texas, SMU (3)
  • Travon Fuller, CB, Athens, 6-0, 160 — committed to Texas A&M (1)
  • Alex Gregory, WR, Nacogdoches, 5-11, 175 — committed to Stephen F. Austin; additional offers from Texas State, ULM (2)
  • Zach Hall, ATH, Tyler Lee, 5-11, 170 – offers from Baylor, Missouri, Texas Tech (3)
  • La’Darius Hamilton, LB, Corrigan-Camden, 6-1, 220 — offers from Texas State, ULL (2)
  • Adrian Harris, OL, John Tyler, 6-2, 290 — offer from ULM (1)
  • Tanner Holmes, LB, Newton, 6-3, 220 — committed to ULL (1)
  • Jerrod Johnson, OL, Lufkin, 6-2, 290 — offer from ULM (1)
  • Keenen Johnson, ATH, Alto, 6-1, 190 – offers from SMU, ULL (2)
  • Brandon Jones, S, Nacogdoches, 6-0, 190 — offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Boise State, California, Florida State, Georgia, Houston, Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, Purdue, SMU, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tulsa, UCLA, USC, Washington State (40)
  • Braylon Jones, DT, John Tyler, 6-3, 285 – committed to Houston; additional offers from Air Force, Army, Colorado State, Navy (5)
  • Corey Lane, S, 5-11, 185 – offer from Louisiana Tech (1)
  • Bronson Massie, DE/LB, Lufkin 6-3, 202 – offers from California, Colorado State, Louisiana Tech, Texas State, Washington (5)
  • Jarrod McLin, DE, Carthage, 6-4, 212 – committed to UTSA; additional offer from ULL (2)
  • Denzel Mims, WR, Daingerfield, 6-4, 180 – committed to Baylor; additional offers from Arkansas State, North Texas, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulsa (6)
  • Cody Mitchell, TE, Jasper, 6-5, 225 — committed to ULL; additional offers from Illinois, Louisiana Tech, Missouri, Texas State, (5)
  • Jordan Morales, DL, Tyler Bishop Gorman, 6-3, 275 – offer from UTEP (1)
  • Reshawn Parker, RB, Hooks, 6-1, 210 -- offer from Oklahoma State (1)
  • Kendrick Rogers, WR, Frankston, 6-6, 207 — committed to Texas A&M; additional offers from Arkansas State, Cincinnati, Houston, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, Mississippi State, North Texas, SMU, ULL, ULM (11)
  • Micahh Smith, DB, Marshall, 5-11, 185 — offer from Texas State (1)
  • Aphonso Thomas, RB, Van, 5-10, 180 — committed to SMU; additional offers from Colorado State, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, SMU, Texas State (6)
  • Jeremy West, OL/DL, Chapel Hill, 6-2, 297 — committed to Northwestern State; additional offer from ULL (1)
  • Andre Wiley Jr., OLB/S, Liberty-Eylau, 5-10, 170 – offers from Arkansas State, Army, Louisiana Tech, Navy, Texas State, Wyoming (6)