First Freshman on Campus

While most incoming freshmen are at home enjoying their last summer in their hometowns, Derron Thomas is on campus working out with the team. His first day of summer workouts, June 8th, went well. Thomas is trying to separate himself from the other freshmen running backs by getting familiar with the campus so the adjustment period is easier in August.

Freshmen running backs Derron Thomas (Reserve, LA), Bobby Washington (Miami, FL), Charlie Jones (Homestead, FL), and Andrew Johnson (Pittsburgh, PA) will have a tight battle this fall competing for available playing time. Most likely one or two of them will be given time while the others will be candidates to redshirt or even switch positions.

Senior rushing stats
Thomas	    2,010 yards	30 TD		
Washington   2,132 yards	21 TD		
Jones          748 yards	 6 TD (six games)
Johnson	    1,276 yards	22 TD
Thomas, who graduated May 25th, wants to be one of the guys on the field contributing. He knows what he is up against and is ready for the challenge.

"I am just going to try to out work everybody to try and get playing time," Thomas said. "I wanted to come down and work out with the players to get ready to play in August."

He has not met any of the other running backs yet but has met fellow incoming freshmen Romeo Davis, Anthony Reddick, and Chris Rutledge during his official visit.

The summer workouts at Miami are considered to be one of the toughest around. All of the players are striving to get better and some even look forward to the summer because it is a chance to separate themselves from their peers. That is exactly what Thomas is trying to do. He talked about his first day of workouts.

"It felt real good to be here on campus. I am just trying to work hard and get better. I knew the workouts would be harder than anything I was doing."

Thomas was able to meet some of his new teammates including Greg Threat, Glenn Cook, and Derrick Crudup.

Although Thomas is over 900 miles from home there are two current Hurricanes from Louisiana including high school teammate Vegas Franklin who also played at East St. John. Franklin and Thomas kept in touch throughout Thomas's senior season.

"We are real close," Thomas said. "We talked quite a bit last year. He gave me advice before I came to Miami. He told me to come in and compete by working hard and always try to get better."

Akieem Jolla, also from Louisiana, is Thomas's roommate right now during summer workouts. Thomas remembers Jolla as a prep star and his tremendous speed.

Speed is also one of Thomas's strongest attributes.

"I think I can bring speed, explosiveness, and vision."

At 5-foot-10 and 188 pounds, Thomas would like to be up around 193 pounds by the time season starts.

Tough competition

Thomas enjoyed playing against the top competition in the state of Louisiana during his two years at powerhouse East St. John who finished 9-1 in 2003. Thomas was a cornerback at West St. John (2A) before transferring to East St. John (5A) prior to his junior season.

He recalled some of his toughest competition in high school including players he played with:

DT Darryl Richard, Georgia Tech
OL Tyson Jackson, LSU
LB Quinn Johnson, LSU
WR Darius Reynaud, West Virginia
RB Chris Markey, UCLA
TE Chris Brown, Tennessee
DL Al Jones, N/A (2005 recruit)

Christopher Stock is a Staff Writer for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at

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