Thomas, a native of Hilliard, Fla., becomes the first Wildcat since Darren Sproles (2004) to be considered for the award, given annually to the nation's top collegiate running back.
A 6-2, 227-pound junior, Thomas has been impressive in his first season at the running back position as he currently leads the Big 12 in rushing yards (1,087), attempts (205) and touchdowns (11) and ranks 17th nationally in rushing. His 108.7 rushing yards per-game average is also tops in the Big 12, while he also became just the ninth player in school history to eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark for a season and was the fourth-fastest to do so.
Coming off a Big 12 season-high 185-yard rushing performance against Kansas, Thomas has collected 100-plus yards rushing in five games this season, ranks sixth nationally with 36 runs of 10 or more yards and scored four touchdowns in one half of play in a win over Texas A&M.
The SMU Athletic Forum will narrow the field of candidates to 10 semifinalists later this week, while the winner will be announced live on The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show in December.
K-State wraps up the home portion of the 2009 schedule this Saturday against Missouri in a nationally-televised matchup on VERSUS. Kickoff is set for 11:30 a.m., and great seats still remain for the contest including Family Four-Packs for $99.