Gopher verbal Jay Thomas talks to

Jay Thomas, a 6-foot-0, 185-pound running back from Oakdale (MN) Tartan committed to Minnesota earlier this week. Thomas led the Titans to a 5-5 mark as a junior. He has excellent speed and finished third in the 100-yard (10.77) and 200-yard dash (21.49) in the state meet. Thomas was also a key reserve on the Titans team that that advanced to the Class AAAA boy's basketball tournament. Thomas talked to about football and his decision to commit to Minnesota.

Jay Thomas is the sixth player to commit to Minnesota.

What was the deciding factor in your decision to go to Minnesota?


"I liked that it was close to home and I liked the atmosphere. They have a lot of good players like Barber and Maroney."


The fact that Barber and Maroney were able to play fairly quickly, was that a factor?




Do you compare your style of Barber and Maroney? Is there a running back that you watch or compared yourself to?


"I don't really familiarize myself with players like that. I just go with my own running style, but I like to pick up a few things.'


What other schools were you interested in?


"Northern Illinois had offered me. Michigan State was probably my second choice behind the Gophers. I've always looked at Michigan State as a powerhouse and someplace that I would want to go."


Have you gone to many Minnesota games in the past?


"I watch the Gophers all the time. I've been watching them since I was a little kid. I like to watch them. I'm kind of a hometown kid."


Have you thought much about what you would like to major in at college?


"Architecture. That was another factor in picking Minnesota."


Tartan is coming off a 5-5 season. You guys have not had a lot of success, but it would be nice to finish your career with a strong individual and team season. What are your goals for the team this year?


"Hopefully we can get past the second round of the playoffs. We have never gotten past that in the history of Tartan. We are really jelling in two-a-days. We are coming together and we should be very good this year. That is pretty much the goal for the team to go as far in the playoffs as we can and try to set some records."


You are being asked to play both sides of the field this season. Is that something that appeals to you?


"I'm just trying to do whatever is best for the team to get the "W." If they want me to play wherever, that's what I'll do. I'll step up and play out of position, if they need me to do it."


You were a reserve for a state tournament basketball team and ran track last season. Are you planning on playing all three sports again this season?




Are you planning on running track at Minnesota?


The track coach called me and asked me if I was going to be a multi-sport athlete and I said that I was interested.

Gopher Illustrated Top Stories