Gopher freshman RB Jay Thomas Tears Left ACL

Jay Thomas, a 6-foot-0, 185-pound freshman running back from Oakdale (MN) Tartan, told GoldenSports.Net that he suffered a torn left ACL Friday in practice. Thomas said that he will be sidelined for six months. He will undergo surgery next week.

Jay Thomas committed to Minnesota in August of 2004. He was selected as a PrepStar All-Midwest Region performer and was named the 2004 Pioneer Press Football Player of the Year and a first-team all-state choice by the Associated Press.

Thomas was named to the KARE-11 and Star Tribune All-Metro teams his senior season. He was a three-time all-conference and all-state selection. Thomas led the metro area in rushing in 2004 with a school record 1,549 yards on 154 attempts.

Thomas also set school records for career rushing yards (3,083), career rushing touchdowns (27), career kickoff returns for touchdowns (6), and rushing touchdowns in a season (14) and a game (6). 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 advanced to the Class AAAA boy's basketball tournament as a junior and senior.

Thomas is expected to be third in the running back rotation behind Gary Russell and Amir Pinnix, if Laurence Maroney turns pro as expected. Thomas would give the Gophers a burst of speed in the backfield.

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