So 'Money' he doesn't even know it

In the movie ‘Swingers' the co-stars tell John Favreau's character Mike that he is "so money he doesn't even know it". Arizona also has a Mike who is money. However, unless he is the most humble person in the world, "Money Mike" Thomas must have an inkling that he is one of the pleasant surprises in the Wildcat fall camp.

The Mike in ‘Swingers' is a young man thrust into a new environment and having trouble adjusting. "Money Mike" is also a young man in a new environment, but unlike Mike Peters, this Mike is having an easy transition to his new life.

Charlie Williams, his position coach, first called him "Money Mike', while offense coordinator Mike Canales has called him a "gamebreaker". Needless to say, he should have the ball in his hands.

"He's a guy you just have to get the ball to him," said Canales. "Hitches, reverses, put him in the backfield you just have to get the ball in his hands. He's electric. He has that big play capability."

Canales has also compared Thomas to USC's Reggie Bush. That's pretty high praise for a player who has yet to take a college snap. How much faith do the Cats have in the undersized wide receiver? He is getting a ton of reps with the first team, yet a year ago he was playing in a run based offense.

"Most of the time I was in the backfield running the ball but they tried to put me out at receiver and run pass routes," Thomas said. "I'd say 95% of the time we were running it. It's a big adjustment. It's cool, it's coming along pretty good, just a lot of learning."

He seems embarrassed about the comparison, but does not shy away from it either.

"Coming from high school I played tail back a little bit, so I have that experience. Receiver, halfback, it's a beautiful thing. Special teams, all that kind of things, it's going to be good.

Once he was seen as a secret weapon. The coaches would barely talk about him on the record, now they are singing his praises to all who will listen. Needless to say, when the coaches talk you up, they expect you to make an impact.

"It gives me the confidence because they are counting on me to produce whenever they give me a chance," Thomas said. "It makes me perform at a higher level, let them know they are counting on me and giving me those extra reps."

Like Mikey in ‘Swingers', Thomas has mentors at Arizona. Mikey had the boisterous ‘Double Down' Trent who guided him through the pitfalls of single life in Los Angeles, while Thomas had established veteran receivers to guide him into his first year of D-I football.

"I pretty much look at Steptoe and Mike J, Mike Jefferson. They are pretty much helping me out."

Thomas talks as if he will be lucky just to see the field. After his performance in the final spring scrimmage he seems certain to be a weapon for the Wildcats. Last Saturday he caught for balls for 107 yards and had a four yard touchdown run.

"I just want to go in there and produce any time I can. Special teams or whatever the case may be. My role I guess right now is pretty simple, just go in there and produce whenever I can. Whenever I get the chance. As a receiver running routes, special teams, whatever it may be."

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