Dennis, which is pronounced "Deniess", certainly showed his merit at receiver as he had 958 receiving yards and 15 TD's through the air. He also chipped in another 696 rushing yards playing the slot position.
But it was at linebacker where Thames almost single handily won the state championship for Louisville. On the first score of the game, he made an acrobatic pick, juked and jived five defenders, and ran it the length of the field for a score. The next quarter, he read the quarterback's eyes beautifully, and made another pick and took it to the house. And to shut the door down completely, he had a receiving 24 yard TD to account for all three of the Wildcats touchdowns.
"Yea, I feel like a quarterback back there when I am playing defense. I just have a knack of knowing where the ball is going, and I get to the ball in a hurry."
Dennis finished the season with 96 tackles and 5 interceptions that he took back to the house. This was good enough to be selected as one of the three juniors in Mississippi to make the 1st Team All-State squad, regardless of classification, by the Jackson Clarion Ledger.
How did it feel to win the first state championship for Louisville in many/many years?
"It felt great. All of my uncles played football, and they won a state championship too, so I had to get one for them. I won one like they did. The whole team won it. We worked hard for it and made it happen. We get our ring in two weeks, and I can not wait to see it. You would have to cut my finger off to get that ring off of my hand. It will be glued on there (laugh)."
One of the uncles that Thames is referring to happens to be playing professional ball, just not in football.
"Marcus plays for the Detroit Tigers, but he never won a state championship. I have a little fun with him about that. After the game, all of my family was out there tailgating. The whole family was there, from cousins, to grandparents, to great grandparents, just everybody. It was the highlight of my life. Just knowing I made so many people close to me proud. It does not get any better than that. But Marcus has installed a winning attitude in me. He has told me from day one to be a leader out there. Next year, I know we will have a real young team, so me and Clayton Moore are going to be the biggest leaders on the team. We have to keep them focused if we want to get back. We have got to keep them focused and up."
Junior Days have started for various college programs around the country and Dennis has only had a chance to attend one so far but plans to go to a couple more.
"Me and Clayton went to Alabama. That is the only one we have been to so far. It was ok. They took us to a basketball game and showed us around the campus and field. We ate good. They showed us a good time. The next ones I am going to will probably be MSU and Ole Miss. Michigan invited me to their Jr Day, but I am probably just going go to to their football camp this summer. Ole Miss came to my school, but I did not get a chance to talk to them. We went to Ole Miss, me and Clayton, a week or so ago. We have been up there a couple of times lately. They took us on their field. We saw the football field, indoor facility and the campus."
The Rebels have a new staff and Thames is eager to see how he fits in with them.
"They were not on campus when we went over there this past time. The other times we went, their old staff was there. I know they have a lot of good football players over there. I watched them play a lot last year. I think they are going to have a high powered team. I think Ole Miss would be a good team to play for. I just want to see what kind of offense they are going to run and how the coaches react to me. I have already seen their field and facilities. I love their field. When I was in 9th grade, I scored a 98 yard TD. School wise, I just want to see what kind of help they give you, academically and all."
MSU is practically in Thames' back yard.
"They are only like 30 minutes away from home so my family can come see me play. I went and watched them practice, and they practice hard. I like the offense they run too. Besides, they are the only school who has offered me so far."
Who is closest to offering next?
"I think it will be Ole Miss or Michigan."
What stands out about Michigan?
"I always liked Michigan because they run the wide receiver wide. They use their slot a lot too, and they just throw the ball a lot. Their colors also stand out a lot to me. Coach (Jay) Hopson has been on me pretty good too."
Anymore schools out there actively recruiting Dennis?
"Virginia Tech and USM."
Who would he like to see start recruiting him harder?
"LSU. I always
liked LSU. I use to wear a lot of LSU clothes, and I went to a lot of their games.
I use to follow LSU and still do. I like to watch LSU play. I always had dreams
of going to LSU."