Arkansas or Ole Miss for Army All-American?
Scout.com's #1 ranked player from South Texas entered his senior season with huge expectations and did not disappoint as he turned in a 374 yard performance against Smithson Valley in Game 5. More importantly, Devin helped his team to a victory over a club that had beaten Madison for five straight years.
"That was one of the best feelings I had ever had, beating those guys," added the articulate Devin Thomas. "Smithson Valley had beaten us my whole high school career so it felt good to have one of my best games against them."
After being named the National Player of the Week for his performance in that contest, the next game did not go as well.
"I broke my ankle the next game, in the 6th week. Man, it still haunts me today. I couldn't believe it. All of my dreams went down the tube for my senior season. It was tough on me, real/real tough. The good news is that I am already jogging on it right now, and I will hopefully be back to full speed by the end of the month."
Devin played in only six games this season and only participated in two full games due to his team's success.
"We averaged over 50 points a game this year. We had a great club. Coach wanted to give the younger guys a chance to gain some valuable experience, so I sat out the second half in all of the games but two."
Thomas still managed to gain 1, 477 yards and 17 TD's in limited action which earned him a spot on the prestigious Army All-American roster even though he was injured.
"The experience I have had here has been unbelievable. Getting to meet all of these great players that I have been reading about for so long is neat. It has been a lot of fun. They are real cool to chill with. I just wish I was out there mixing it up with them (laugh)."
Anbd mixing it up is what Devin does best.
"I let my blocks set up before I go. I am real patient with the ball in my hands. But once I see the hole, I hit it. Then once I get past the defensive linemen and linebackers, it is only me and the defensive back. I either juke them or run past them, but I am more of a North/South runner. I like to run it between the tackles, but I can take it to the outside if I have too. I am pretty hard to bring down. It is very rare for one person to bring me down. This year, I really did not get tested much. The holes were just there for me to run through. You will see when you watch my video."
Has Devin lined up his official visits?
"I am going to Ole Miss on January 12th and Arkansas on January 18th. The last two weekends I am still deciding on the other two schools I want to visit. After I take in all of those visits, I will decide who I am going to sign with in February. I am still committed to Arkansas though. I just want to see some other campuses."
Who are some potential candidates to fill in the last two official visits?
"TCU, Oklahoma State, Kansas, and Missouri. That is all for right now."
What are Devin's feelings towards Arkansas?
"I still love Arkansas. I love their campus, facilities, and the people are fantastic there. But with the new staff, I just do not know any of them but Coaches Allen and Horton. I am still kind of iffy. I have spoken to Coaches Petrino and his brother on the phone, but I can not tell how much I like them because I have not met them in person. I am the type of person that has to meet you face to face to know how well I am going to get along with you. I am just waiting to meet them in person when I go down there on my visit."
And what about Ole Miss?
"I have not been there yet. The reason I am going on my visit is to see their facilities and how friendly the people are up there. I already know what their coaches are about. They are the main reason I committed to Arkansas. Coach (Chris) Vaughn recruited me for Arkansas. He is now at Ole Miss. Coach Horton also called me a lot for Arkansas, and he stayed, but Coach Vaughn is now at Ole Miss. Me and Coach Vaughn just connected. We are basically like family. I love that man. When Coach Nutt left, I figured Coach Vaughn was going with him since I knew how tight they were. Coach Vaughn knows where I stand with him. He is like family. It is just great to be recruited by him again."
Outside of Arkansas' staff and Ole Miss' facilities and environment; there will be another important factor in choosing between the two schools.
"I just want to see what type of scheme they are going to run. That will be a big key. I am looking for a balanced offense. I want one that will run and pass. Of course, I would love for them to run first because I am a tailback, but I want it to be balanced. I want to win. I do not want to go to a school that is going to throw it all day. I do know that. After that, I will pray about it. That will also be a big key. I will look for God to help me select which one is best for me. I will put it in his hands."
Devin carries a 3.6 Core GPA / 1200 SAT and was named to the All-State Academic team.
To watch Devin in action, click here.
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