Running Back Looking For Respect

This talented back from the Mobile area talks about his spring and the improvements he's made in his game.

Theodore, Ala.--Sometimes players look for motivation in different places. Sometimes it's a goal or challenge that drives a player but many times the main motivation for a player is respect. That's what Theodore running back Demetrius Thomas is using to push himself this spring as schools hold off on offers after offering several running backs in the Mobile area. Thomas says he's out to show teams they're talking to the wrong guy.

"Right now I feel like I'm coming into my senior year as the underdog," Thomas tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. I've got Reggie Hunt and Ivan Matchett and Jermaine Preyear from Davidson all down here. I feel like I'm the underdog. I feel like I get the least amount of attention. It makes me want to work even harder and prove that I'm better than all the other guys."

Up to 5-11 and 185 pounds, Thomas says that the lack of respect has driven him to work out harder this spring than he's ever done in his life. That means extra work in addition to the work he puts in on the football field every day in practice and in the weight room at school.

"I have a built-in pool in my backyard," Thomas says. "Every weekend I run in my pool to build my legs up. I also go to the YMCA to lift weights on the weekend. I just try to make myself better every day at football practice and also make my teammates better."

Demetrius Thomas is a slashing back that has the speed to take it the distance.

Hearing from several top schools but without an offer at the moment, Thomas says he's hopeful his showing this spring will make the doubters stand up and take notice of his ability to run the football. "I'm still getting a lot of letters from schools and it's pretty exciting," Thomas says. "Mainly it's from schools telling me they are going to be at my spring game. They said they're going to be watching me. I'm hearing from Auburn, Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Southern Miss, Arkansas, Iowa State, Houston, Middle Tennessee and a few others. I don't have any offers yet but the Southern Miss coaches say they are close to offering me."

In his first year as a starter at running back for the varsity, Thomas had a strong junior season as he rushed for just over 1,300 yards and scored 11 touchdowns while adding over 400 yards receiving as well. He says that the experience he gained in 2006 has made him a better football player this spring and is something that should carry over into his senior season.

"Lifting weights and running in the pool has made me quicker," Thomas says. "I feel like my game is superb right now. I feel like I'm a veteran now on the varsity level. I feel like the game has slowed down a lot. This year is my year to be Mr. 2,000."

Thomas and the Bobcats will get a chance to showcase their skills in a spring showcase held at Foley High as they play a three-way round robin of spring games on May 19 against Fairhope and Opelika. Also in action that day will be Foley, McGill-Toolen and Daphne and the play starts at noon.

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories