With more than 30 scholarship offers in hand, Ohio's top-rated running back Tavion Thomas has quickly become one of the nation's most sought after prospects.
On Tuesday evening, Louisville made his offer sheet rise to 33 strong.
"It's really a blessing," he said. "I never really expected this. It's been great. My family didn't expect this, at all."
While the Cardinals have just now extended an offer, the relationship between he and the U of L program has been existent for some time.
"Me and the running back coach, Kolby Smith, we've been talking for awhile," he said. "We talk and text here and there. He told me that I remind him of him. We've really opened up with each other and we have a really good relationship. He's not telling me the bullcrap and he didn't offer me just because of who has offered. He offered because he really wants me down there. I really like the relationship we have."
In addition to Louisville, Thomas also has offers from Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Purdue, Texas, USC, Wisconsin and a host of others.
Despite having nearly three dozen college opportunities, with more to come, Thomas wasn't even thinking about that probability just a year ago. Out of football since little league days, he returned to the game as a sophomore. He didn't start carrying the football until last season.
"I stopped playing football for a couple of years," he explained to Cardinal Authority. "My sophomore year I played defensive end and I really wasn't all that. That was my first time playing since the fourth grade. My junior year I played running back, and I was the back-up running back, too. It just all really came out of nowhere."
His 6-foot-2, 225-pound frame, coupled with the combination of power and agility have drawn the college coaches in. He's now a member of the Scout 300, checking in as the nation's No. 16 running back and No. 2 in the Midwest Region.
"People say I move like Derrick Henry, but my feet are kind of better, so I'll say Leonard Fournette right now," he said. "My senior year, I want to be more like Zeke Elliott. I'm working my heart out to better my speed and feet."
Thomas is already planning to make the short trip from Dayton to Louisville for a game this fall. However, it won't be his first experience at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
"I'm coming down for the Louisville and Clemson game for sure," he said. "I went to the Louisville - Florida State game and I really liked how they came to play. They were ready. The atmosphere was so amazing. It was so loud."
As for his eventual college decision, Thomas says that he could make prior to the start of his senior season, but may hold off until its over.
"I'm not going to go somewhere just because its a big name," he said. "I want to find the right place that fits me right."
As a junior he rushed for more than 1,600 yards and garnered All-District honors.