Hours before his Yellow Jackets took the field for the opening round of the Class 6A state football playoffs the 5-11, 205-pound tailback drew cheers from his classmates at a ceremony at the Oxford High gymnasium.
Oxford head coach Ryan Herring pointed out the Tigers are getting a special football player. "He is a once in a lifetime guy," the coach said. "He has power, speed, agility, he has great hands out of the backfield and he can also block."
Despite playing through injuries early in the season and running behind a young and inexperienced offensive line, Thomas is having a terrific senior season. He has 183 carries for 1,928 yards and 28 touchdowns.
"I am having a great season," Thomas said. "My OL has been stepping up and they are blocking their butts off. That has helped me out a lot."
Herring said that Thomas reminds him of former Tiger star Carnell Williams. "He has more top-end speed than Carnell does, but that is exactly who he reminds me of," the coach told Inside the Auburn Tigers.
Thomas noted that being compared to Williams is a major compliment. "That is a great comparison," he said. "I think he is a great running back and it is an honor to be compared to him."
Following the ceremony Thomas stated that he is firmly set on playing his college football for Coach Gus Malzahn's Tigers. "I am still 100 percent committed," he said. "They are having a great season. They have only lost one game. That is great because they turned the season around from last year. Gus Malzahn has turned the program around."
The running back said he a major reason he chose Auburn is that he likes the coaching staff and they make him feel like part of the "family."
"They were just honest with me the whole time," he said, noting the relationship with the AU coaches has grown. "I talk to the coaches every day, or just about every other day. I give them a call about every two days.
Thomas said he is honored to be recognized as an All-American. "There are only a select few who gets this opportunity so it feels great," he said.