Dennis Thames takes in unofficial to Ole Miss

The "jack of all trades" athlete from Louisville helped lead the Wildcats to a State Championship which had been missing on their resume for almost two decades.

Thames played a little running back, wide receiver, and mostly linebacker during the championship run. He finished the season with over 1, 600 yards of offense and 19 TD's, but he also led them in tackles with 93 and picked off 5 passes and brought back 4 of the interceptions for TD's, including two in the state championship game.

Most college recruiters project Dennis for defensive back, mainly the safety slot, but you might be surprised at where Thames thinks his talents are best suited for.

"Running back," added the matter of fact and always humble but funny Dennis Thames. "I just feel like I am a playmaker, and with the ball in my hands, I feel like I can do do it all."

The 6' 0", 195 pound athlete received a scholarship offer on Tuesday from Ole Miss and decided to head an hour and forty five minutes north to have a talk with the Rebel staff on Wednesday.

Dennis Thames

"This was my second trip to Ole Miss. I also went over there in the fall for a football game. But it was my first time to get to meet the new staff face to face. The coaches were real friendly. I can talk to them like I can talk to my mom. It is like they already knew me, but we hadn't ever met before. We just clicked. I can't really explain it. They are good coaches. This visit really moved them up."

Dennis had a chance to watch the Rebel's practice.

"The offense stood out the most to me. I saw a play where they had #22 (Dexter McCluster) playing QB, doing trick plays. That really caught my eye. I could see myself in an offense like that. I like how they put their best athlete at QB on some plays and do some different things."

How did the scholarship offer from Ole Miss go down?

"Yesterday (Tuesday) I talked to Derrick (Nix) and he said they had an offer for me. I think Coach Nix is pretty cool. It would be nice if me and Clayton (Moore) could go to the same school together and do the things like we have done in high school and play the game we love."

Clayton Moore and Dennis Thames took the trip to Ole Miss together and to say they are joined at the hip is an understatement.

"We are like best friends on and off of the field. We love to compete against each other, but only to make ourselves better. He pushes me and I push him, although he knows I can beat him in everything (laugh)."

Clayton was a few feet from Dennis when Thames was ribbing Moore.

"Dennis is full of it. I can give him a 10 yard head start and beat him in the hundred yard dash," stated a joking but serious Clayton Moore. "Seriously, I have more stolen bases than he does in baseball. He might have me in batting average, but I got him in speed, and that kills him (laughing)."

Dennis replied back.

"You know, everybody says that we are some package deal, but we do not have to go to the same college."

Those words were like fighting words for Clayton as you could see the gleam in his eyes. It was like his girl had left him at the alter.

"Hey, I do not need Dennis. I can run it better than him anyway. I will just keep the ball instead of handing it off (laugh). He is not all that."

It is obvious being around the two that they have that special bond that few possess. If any college wants Clayton, you better want Dennis or vise versa. In fact, Virginia Tech just offered Clayton on Tuesday and the two will hopefully make a trip to visit the Hokies campus on Sunday.

"We are going to go up there after an Army All-American interview on Sunday," stated Dennis Thames. "They offered Clayton so I want to see what they are all about."

Dennis has only had a chance to visit the Ole Miss and Alabama campuses this Spring. Where else would he like to visit?

"I think I am going to USM, Virginia Tech, MSU, and that is about it."

Thames has been offered by Ole Miss, MSU, USM, Michigan, and Arkansas. Who is closest to offering next?

"I would say Alabama because I get a lot of letters from them, and when I went to their Jr Day I got a chance to meet with Coach Saban. He told me about being at Alabama and about their education. He told me that their assistants would make sure that I stay on top of my grades and my football duties. They have a good staff over there."

MSU is only 30 minutes from Louisville and the familiarity is a plus for Dennis.

"I use to watch them all of the time. Most of the college games I have been to have been to MSU because it is only 30 minutes from home."

Southern Mississippi brings a surprising plus to the table.

"I like their colors a lot. I see the Rock, and I just like their field."

What about the Hokies?

"I am just going over there for Clayton."

And Ole Miss?

"They stand out to me because they are close to home too, in Mississippi, and I watched them on TV a lot and have been to a couple of their games. Their coaches are also really nice. I think it is a nice school to go to."

Michigan has something that nobody else has.

"Well, me and Coach (Jay) Hopson have a good relationship. He always talks about how badly he needs me in that Blue. It is also close to my Uncle, Marcus Thames (who plays for the Detroit Tigers), and we are real close. That would be nice to be up there with him. I also think Michigan is the best program that is recruiting me."

Surprisingly, Michigan is also the school who is coming after Thames the hardest.

"Michigan is definitely recruiting me the hardest. Coach Hopson is the only coach that I talk to every single week. I hear from him every week. He just tells me how badly he needs me up there, like he has to have me, not like he just wants me. I think that is a good thing."

When it does come decision time; what will be the main factors?

"The staff has to be easy to talk to and have fun with. I want a staff that will watch over my academics and make sure I get a good education. The staff will be the biggest factor for me. I just want to go somewhere where it feels like home away from home."

And where ever that home may be, you can rest assure that his good friend and QB, Clayton Moore, will most likely be at his side.

"It really would be hard for me to imagine him not being with me. Don't tell him that though (laugh). He might get the big head."

OM Spirit Top Stories