Louisiana Has Two Top RB's

There are several top RBs in the Deep South (Miss. and Ala.) that like Michigan. But Louisiana quite possibly has the South's Best TWO backs. U-M recruiting fans generally know about Jakouri Williams, a 2002 U-M Camper. But East St. John's <B>Derron Thomas</B> is considering U-M as well, and his head coach was happy to tell me all about Derron and his recruitment. He makes an interesting comment on Jakouri as well.

Yours truly talked Monday afternooon with Larry Dauterive, head coach of running back Derron Thomas (5-10, 193 lbs., 4.45 in the 40, 32.5-inch vertical jump, 3.6 GPA) from Reserve, La., East St. John. As a junior MaxEmfingerRecruiting.com's #6 running back rushed for 1,589 yards on 149 carries (10.7 yards per carry), and 20 touchdowns for the 8-2 East St. John team. Coach Dauterive was happy to talk about Derron -- I didn't have to ask any questions!

"Oh yes, you called me last year about Kirston Pittman, didn't you. Well, Derron Thomas is better. Derron is one of the best in America. He led the state in rushing last year. We threw for 2,000 yards last year, and he still ran forjust under 1,600 yards."

"In 35 years he's the best I've coached. He has tremendous balance. He has the vision, the moves, the wheels -- he has a great burst. And as a coach, the most important thing to me is yards after being hit -- and Derron just keeps the legs churning, always falling forward. He's just so productivce, he's phenominal."

"Derron has offers from LSU, Florida State offered him when they were in last week and watched his film, Oklahoma Stata, Michigan State ... Colorado and Texas were in here and loved him. Les Miles was in here from Oklahoma State and watched his film and said he hadn't seen a better running back ... he said he was unbelievable, that he reminded him of Thurman Thomas. Fred Jackson (U-M's La. recruiter) loved him from the get-go. Fred offered him last year during recruiting season, telling him Lloyd Carr wanted him to have the early offer. Miles and Jackson coached together at Michigan you know."

"Fred Jackson has not been in here this spring yet. I told him to hold off because Derron's been running track track. We just lost out in the track regionals last weekend, so football started this week. Fred will be down here soon, and Derron is interested in Michigan [Note: we'll talk to Derron after Jackson visits]. Football practice has started here now, and Derron has picked up where he left off last year."

"In track Derron was a relay guy ... the 4X200 and the 4X100. Derron's a football player, not a track man -- he ran track because I asked him to, to help out the team. His best 100 is a 10.8; now that's not a 10.5, but he runs a 10.8 with his pads on too. He's not huge -- he's 5-10, but at 193 lbs. he's hard to bring down."

"Derron is a good student too, he carries a 3.2 GPA in honors classes. He and his parents walked in here last year on August 1st from West St. John, a small school. His dad wanted him to play 5-A ball. Derron was reluctant, but his dad wanted the best for him. There were others ahead of him on the team of course, so he had to earn his spot, but he quickly passed the others. He's a good student, with good parents."

"Fred Jackson is a good representative for Michigan down here, he's well respected. And Louisiana has two top running backs this year. Plaquemine has Jakouri Williams. Don Jones, the Plaquemine coach, coached the A-Train you know ... I think he wants Jakouri to go to Michigan. Jakouri is straight ahead fast; Derron is a little stronger and can run inside or out."

"LSU is pressuring Derron him to commit early (Thomas made a visit there for a spring practice), but he is holding fast. He wants to take his official visits. I have no preference as to where he goes."

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