"I have been coaching Devin for four years and have known him a long/long time," stated Duane Dunkley. "I always tell people that Devin just happens to be a great football player, but he is an even better person. When anyone talks with Devin, it only takes them about two minutes to learn that. He is just a great person. But I will be going on all of his visits with him. I go on all of the visits with my highly recruited players. I want to make sure things are done right."
What were Coach Dunkley's thoughts on Ole Miss?
"Well, I have known Coaches Vaughn and Nutt for a long time, and the best way to put it is that it will be hard to beat that Ole Miss visit. It does not get any better than Coach Nutt. And Ole Miss? Wow, I did not realize the facilities were that great. I have been to a lot of places, and those are the best set of facilities I have seen yet. It is funny because on our way down here, me and Devin were talking about how the facilities would not match up to the other schools he is going to visit and that they would probably have to upgrade them. And then we get there, we just kind of both looked at each other like, can you believe this? It was just good being with all of those coaches again. I guess you can say it was like a family reunion. We are very close with a lot of those coaches. Devin has a very/very deep bond with Coach (Chris) Vaughn. The type of bond that is only felt by your family members. But I tell you what, Devin really hit off with their running back coach, Derrick Nix. He has not stopped talking about Derrick since he got here. Devin has a great feeling about Ole Miss. I will leave it at that."
And what are Devin's thoughts on the newly hired RB coach?
"We just clicked from the minute we met," added Devin Thomas. "I am really excited about the prospects of playing under Coach Nix. I know that he has coached in the league and coached some great running backs in Jerious Norwood and Warrick Dunn, so when he tells me what I am doing wrong, I am not going to get mad at him. I know he is just trying to make me a better player. He knows what it takes to get me to the league, and I know Coach Nix really believes in me. He thinks I can get there one day."
And what was Devin's impression of Ole Miss?
"I loved everything about it, from the dorms, to the campus, to the students although most of them were still out on Christmas break, and the academic center really impressed me the most. They put a lot of money into that place. That shows me they really care about you getting your education at Ole Miss. And you know me, that is my number thing, my books."
Thomas backs up those words with a 3.85 Core GPA and a National Academic All-American award.
"Honestly, we did not know the facilities had been upgraded like they were," added Coach Dunkley who goes by Coach "Dunk" from family and friends. "I think the academic center pretty much blew him away. He spent more time touring that place than any other facility. That just shows you were his priorities lie. You will probably see him on the capital one day. Devin is just that type of person."
The community also caught the eye of Coach Dunk and Devin.
"Besides the coaches and facilities, the community really impressed us," added Coach Dunkley. "We went over to Rebel Rags before we left, and they were all telling us how much support Coach Nutt has and that they were ready to get back to their winning tradition. You could just tell how hungry all of their fans are over there. Every where we went, people were welcoming us with open arms. What a lot of people do not understand is that Ole Miss has a great winning tradition, and trust me when I say this, Coach Nutt is about to bring that winning tradition back to Ole Miss and in a hurry."
"To be honest, I heard it was pretty country before I came on my trip," added Devin Thomas. "I came out here and it was not like that at all. It is in a little town, but I am not a big city person although I am from San Antonio. But you still have some big cities around you like Memphis, so if you want go hang out in the city for the weekend, it is still there for you. At Ole Miss everybody tells you how safe it is, and that is really big because I do not want my mom to worry about me everytime she goes to asleep."
Devin felt a bond with the Ole Miss players and coaches.
"My host was Cassius Vaughn. He was a great host. He told me about why he committed to Ole Miss. All of the old players were not happy with Coach Orgeron, and they are just glad to get in a coach like Coach Nutt. You can tell that everyone is just relieved over there. I have been knowing most of that staff since they were at Arkansas, so I already knew what they were all about. But the new assistants like Derrick Nix, Coaches Dameron and Dickerson, they are just as cool as the old staff at Arkansas. I just love their whole staff. I am glad I took this as my first visit so I know what to look for at the other schools."
And where does Thomas visit next?
"I am going to Arkansas next weekend and Arizona State the weekend after. Coach is talking about me taking a visit to TCU on the first weekend in February, but I do not know if I am going on that visit yet."
Where does Ole Miss now stand?
"They are at the top. That is the best way for me to put it."
Did the Ole Miss staff ask Devin to commit?
sir. That is why I respect the whole staff because they are not rushing me to
commit. A lot of coaches try and get you to rush your decision, and I do not like
that. I have my scholarship until the end, and I am happy about that. They know
where I stand though. They know where I am coming from and our feelings are mutual.
To watch Devin in action, click here.