"I wanna be a 'Cane"

There may not be another state in the entire country that will produce a list of high quality receivers like the state of Florida this coming season. One of the top players at the position will be Zephyrhills standout Bryan Thomas.

Thomas, who carries a 3.7 GPA and has a passing SAT score already, finished his junior season with 1,300 total yards and 13 touchdowns. Defensively, he finished the season with 93 tackles and three picks.

"I had a decent year," Thomas said. "On offense, just put the ball into my hands and I'll make something happen. On defense, I had 93 tackles at safety. That's good for me but not good for our team. That means our line and linebackers are not making enough tackles."

Thomas, 6-2 and 192 pounds, is now gearing up for track season. A runner since his 7th grade year, Thomas was a regional champion in the long jump event last season and placed sixth in the state meet with a jump of 22-11.

While most programs will recruit him on both sides of the ball, Thomas prefers defense.

"I wanna play defense but I also know that a lot of teams are placing a priority on receivers who are 6-2 and can run a 4.39 like I do," he said. "It really doesn't matter in the end. I just want to have a chance."

The standout receiver believes he stacks up well against the state's best players at his position.

"I think I run better routes than most people," he said. "I've been playing since I was seven years old. I know what's going on out there and playing defense also helps me think about what a defender is going to do."

Thomas, who plans on attending several camps this spring/summer, will be one of the state's most heavily recruited receivers this spring. And good news for Canes fans is that he wants to be a Hurricane.

"I'm trying to get to the U," he said. "I wanna be a Hurricane. I've been wanting that since I was a little kid. I got some letters from them last year and then got one again last Friday that said they'll be watching me and everything."

Thomas lives right around the corner from a home full of UM fans.

"The Pickett family, Ryan and his brothers, stays right around the corner," he said. "Booker said they know about me but I just need to keep doing what I'm doing. They all want to see me there. That's where I wanna go so I guess I need to convince them of it. If they say they want me, I'm there in no time."

Thomas said the Hurricanes are one of several schools who have been recruiting him lately.

"Auburn and Iowa told me that if I wanted to come, they have a spot for me," he said. "My coach's son kicks for Florida State so they've seen my tape and send me stuff a lot. But Miami's where I wanna be."

Thomas knows that competition will be stiff as UM hands out scholarships to receivers this year.

"I know that when I get there it'll be competitive too," he said. "I aint too much worried about all that. I know what I'm capable of doing and if I get the right training then I don't see how I will be stopped."

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