Daniel Thomas Says He's Ready

Daniel Thomas has always had the athleticism, and now he has the academics to go with it. Thomas gained his eligibility this summer taking a Leadership class at Manhattan Christian College and now is ready to be a dual threat performer at running back and quarterback for the Wildcats.

After what he called "a wild ride," Daniel Thomas has landed at Kansas State University.

"Glad to be here," Thomas said, flashing a smile. "I'm tired of committing and then having something mess up."

Thomas, a 6-foot-2, 227-pound transfer from Northwest Mississippi Community College, was one of the go-to interviews during Friday's Media Day at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

For the record, the Hilliard, Fla., native grew up being a Miami Hurricane fan, "… but they didn't show any interest."

He then committed to Florida, which placed the talented Thomas at Northwest Mississippi Community College, "… but we lost touch because of a grade situation."

Thomas would commit to Mississippi, "… but Ole Miss had a coaching change."

Recruited by Ron Prince, Thomas committed to the Wildcats, "… but then he was fired and I found out my grades weren't right."

Once Bill Snyder was in place, communication continued with the running back/quarterback with discussions focused on improving on Thomas' 1.99 grade point average.

"It was stressful thinking I was qualified, and then finding out that I wasn't," Thomas said.

So, he enrolled at Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan., for the spring semester taking College Algebra and a Physical Education class, receiving a C and B grade, respectively.

This summer, he moved to Manhattan and enrolled in a Leadership course at Manhattan Christian College, where he posted an A grade, which helped in putting him in Wildcat uniform No. 8 for the 2009 season.

Asked whether Thomas would be a running back or a quarterback, Snyder said Friday, "Thomas will be a running back for us."

Thomas, however, said he's been involved in a "Wildcat Formation" that has him positioned to be a quarterback in an option-based package.

"I can play both, but I'm a better running back," said Thomas, who has 4.3 40-speed. "They have different plays for me where they line me up at the different positions, so I'm getting plenty of reps."

With an athletic-type quarterback around these parts, it's only natural that a comparison is made with ex-QB Michael Bishop.

Thomas would only say, "Running wise, I'm pretty fair. Throwing … I don't have an arm like Bishop, but I can throw it a little bit."

While Thomas said he has the game to play both positions, co-offensive coordinator Dana Dimel says, "We want him to become good at something, and at this point that is being a quality running back."

As a prepster, Thomas rushed for 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns, plus passed for 936 yards and another 11 TDs. Oh yes, he was also a play-making safety with 57 catches and one interception.

At Northwest Mississippi, the 3-Star Scout.com prospect was ranked as the No. 8 junior college prospect in the state of Mississippi. He rushed for 500-plus yards as a freshman, plus had 618 rushing yards and six TDs with 450 passing yards with two scores this past year.

"We've seen what the young man can do on tape, but now we need to get him on the field in our system," Snyder said. "You'd like to think he's somebody who can run around pretty well, is physical enough to stay on his feet and quick enough to make people miss him.

"We're in the process of putting in all of our offense right now, so his head is swimming," Snyder said. "He needs repetitions to get the hang of it."

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