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15 DAYS TO 2023 KICKOFF: Kanijal Thomas

In which BracketCat counts down the 15th day until the 2023 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State cornerback Kanijal Thomas.

#15 Walter Neil Jr.
Incoming freshman cornerback Kanijal Thomas reminds me a little of former walk-on defensive back Walter Neil Jr. (15) in terms of body type.
Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Goal No. 15: LEADERSHIP. Everyone can set the example.

#15 Kanijal Thomas

True Freshman | 5-11 | 175 lbs. | Del City, Oklahoma
Kanijal Thomas
Kanijal Thomas
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Cornerback
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Redshirt
  • Status: On Scholarship

Kanijal Thomas (b. Aug. 14, 2004) is a young cornerback from Del City High School in the small Oklahoma City suburb of the same name who plans on majoring in psychology.

Thomas — who brings great agility, speed and stamina — arrived this summer in time for fall camp but seems likely to redshirt during his first season.

He prepped under head coach Robert Jones at Del City, where he was regarded as the 43rd-best cornerback in the Class of 2023 by On3, which also rated him fifth among all prospects in the state of Oklahoma.

Thomas picked up honorable mention all-state honors as a junior from the Tulsa World.

He recorded 177 tackles, four tackles for loss, three interceptions and 14 passes defended during his four-year prep career, not to mention multiple Athlete of the Week honors.

Thomas played wide receiver in addition to defensive back, hauling in 41 receptions for 1,075 yards and 16 touchdowns, with 821 yards and 14 scores coming his senior campaign.

He also competed in basketball — helping the Eagles to win a state championship — and in track and field, winning a state championship in the 400-meter relay.

Thomas committed to K-State over offers from Iowa State, Kansas, Memphis, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, as well as strong recruiting interest from Arkansas.