Dynamic Devin's 374

In his weekly column, Dudley E. Dawson chats with San Antonio Madison star and Razorback commit Devin Thomas (5-10, 185, 4.4), who rushed for 374 yards in his last game. This story is sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. It's free and so is a special offer to attend a Razorback event on the Arkansas Toyota Dealers website. Click on a banner for details.

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It was a banner Friday night for San Antonio Madison star tailback and University of Arkansas commit Devin Thomas.

Thomas (5-10, 185, 4.4) rushed for a whopping 374 yards on 37 carries and scored three touchdown to lead his visiting No. 2 Mustangs past No. 1 Smithson Valley in a Class 5A showdown before a estimated crowd of nearly 12,500.

That is the seventh-highest single-game rushing total in the history of the city of San Antonio and he was named the San Antonio Express News' Offensive Player of the Week.

"It felt really good, but no way can I take all the credit," Thomas said. "My offensive line, receivers and fullback all just blocked great and our quarterback made great decisions. Seriously, every time I got the ball it seemed like everything opened up and I just so much room to run."

Thomas, who is averaging over 11 yards per carry, has now run for 1,112 yards and 14 touchdowns in just five games.

What makes that even more amazing is that this was the first of the five games in which he had the opportunity to play in beyond halftime.

Madison (5-0) jumped to No. 1 in the poll with the win.

"Our team has been so good this season and we've gotten such big leads in the first half that I had not even had a play in the last two quarters until this last game," Thomas said. "It was kind of fun playing in the second half."

The atmosphere was certainly something to behold as well according to Thomas, who chose Arkansas over Texas A&M, Missouri and Stanford.

"It was a big game with lots and lots of fans and we felt really fortunate to come out on top, but we worked hard to put ourselves in position to win," Thomas said. "It was a great win and we are doing great because not only are we taking it a game at a time, but a play at a time."

Thomas, who committed to the Razorbacks on July 31, looks forward to playing at Arkansas next season and says he is as solid a commit as one can be.

"I get a lot of letters and calls, but I don't even open the letters or take the calls unless they are from Arkansas," Thomas said. "There is no use in it. I am going to Arkansas and that is the end of the story."

Thomas has current plans to take an unofficial visit to Arkansas for the Razorbacks' game with Auburn on Saturday, Oct. 13.

"I was going to make that my official visit, but I have decided I will just make that one an unofficial and then come up in January and get the full time and get to know some of my new teammates," Thomas said. "I think that is the way to do things."

Madison will be back in action Saturday when the Mavericks face No. 4 Reagan – who is also 5-0 – in another 26-5A battle.

Reagan features a star of its on in running back Marcus Wright, who has 1 more yard than Thomas this season, but has needed 37 more carries.

"Reagan is a great football and we have a lot of teams left on our schedule that are great football teams," Thomas said. "That's why it is has got to be one game at a time and one play at a time."

O o o

Two other future Arkansas running backs had big nights as well on Friday.

Camden Fairview's De'Anthony Curtis (5-11, 211, 4.41) had 11 carries for 158 yards and a score in his team's 42-17 win at Arkadelphia.

This came a week after the versatile Curtis caught 3 passes for 112 yards in a win over J.A. Fair.

Orlando (Fla.) fullback Thomas Shuler (6-0, 235), who has battled a bruised foot all season, was finally healthy.

He rushed for 55 yards and a score and had some punishing blocks that led to tailback Embry Peoples scampering for 155 yards and 3 touchdowns.

He helped lead his team back from a 10-0 deficit to down University High 20-17.

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