High School: Jacksonville(Fl) First Coast
CAREER: First Coast sent three players to Florida State in the 2008 class: Thomas, Nigel Carr, and Avis Commack. Thomas was the least regarded of the three, but has had the best career thus far. He chose FSU over offers from South Carolina, Georgia Tech, and USF.
Burst onto the scene as a true freshmen where he ran for 482 yards including a 130 yard performance against Georgia Tech.
Thomas's sophomore season was his best, he led the team in rushing with 832 yards including a stretch of three straight 100 yard games. He added 17 catches and was clearly the top back on the roster.
He was the starter for the first six games as a junior and ended up with 490 yards rushing after missing the final three games with a knee injury. Scored three touchdowns in the big win over Miami.
He enters his senior year with 1,804 career rushing yards with 5.7 as his average per carry. Thomas currently sits at no. 13 all-time on the FSU rushing list.
EXPECTATIONS: Numbers wise the expectations should be very high, but they are not due to the injury and some off-season issues. Formed a "three-headed" monster with Ty Jones and Chris Thompson in 2009 and each player returns for 2010.
He is a known commodity that has a great understanding of the offense, but the competition has gotten better each of his years at FSU. It is tough to know exactly where he stands entering August camp, but he certainly will have the opportunity to get major carries.
As a player he brings great feet, quickness, and some speed to the equation. He has always been a better runner on the edge than up the gut. His main battle for playing time will be with Thompson as they are the smaller backs with big play ability. Thompson established himself down the stretch last season and should enter camp with a leg up on Thomas. It will be up to Thomas to earn those carries(back).
Overall: Considered a bit of a throw-in with VHT's Carr and Commack, he has been the gem of that First Coast trifecta thus far. Carr is no longer with the team and Commack has had some injury problems(although enters this year with considerable buzz).
Bottom line is that FSU has gotten a lot of production from Thomas and this should be his money year. It will be up to him to put an exclamation point on career with a solid senior season. There is not any question that he can produce, the question is how much opportunity he will have.