PA RB Has PSU Offer

Travis Thomas, a talented back from Washington, PA, has several scholarship offers already. The Nittany Lions are among the teams most interested.

Name: Travis Thomas
Position: RB, SS
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 196 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.4 (per coach)
School: Washington High, Washington, PA

Travis, a 2-year starter on both offense and defense, was one of the major reasons Washington was able to compile a perfect record (15-0) last season while winning the PIAA AA State Championship.

"He's really got a tremendous physique, very strongly built," Washington Head Coach Guy Montecalvo said of Travis.  "He's like a miniature Eddie George.

"He runs over a lot of people, but he's also a good change of direction runner, he sees the field well.  He's really, pretty much, the whole package.  He blocks people, he runs over people, he's been able to run away from some folks and he's very good at making a quick cut in the open field."

Travis was named 1st Team All-Conference and 1st Team All-WPIAL.

"He rushed for about 1,100 yards and he had 23 touchdowns.  He averaged about 7-something [yards per carry].  The year before that, at the fullback position, he averaged almost 9 yards per carry.

"We have a very balanced offense.  We utilize a 3-back, double-slot offense, so consequently, he doesn't roll up the enormous numbers that you might find with some of the top backs in the country.  But, the fact that we do spread things around and also throw the ball so much off of our play-action series is what makes the offense the success that it has been.

"We've actually led Western Pennsylvania scoring for the last 12 years.  We led the state in scoring this year with 612 points.  But, he only carried the football about 140 times, that's all."

Travis has already begun to receive Division I scholarship offers.

"He has a number of them.  I'll name the ones for you that I know for sure.  He definitely has [offers from] West Virginia, Pitt, Penn State and Iowa.  Those are ones that I know of for sure and there are probably some others.

"[In reference to] the film that I made for him that got him the offers, some of the guys have said 'we didn't have to watch more than a few plays and we could see
he's a player'.  They were ready to offer him after watching just a few clips.  It doesn't take a lot of film analysis when you have a guy that's a player."

Travis also participates in track where he is constantly improving his time in the 100 meter event.

"This is [only] April.  He's hit 11.3 so far.  I'll say he'll probably get down to somewhere in the vicinity of 10.9 later on in the year.  We don't have a winter track program and our guys are just 3 or 4 weeks into our season.  He's really come a long way in a year.  Last year, he was at about 11.5 at the end of the year as a sophomore.  He's really coming along right now.  I timed him the other day in one series of 40's in 4.47, 4.44, 4.40."

Coach Montecalvo does not believe Travis will make an early decision as to which school he will attend.

"I don't think he has a favorite right now, he's very open.  He's a very intellectual kid.  He's a very good student and he has a maturity beyond his years.  I think he'll be very analytical in making his decision.  I know Travis very well and I wouldn't say he's leaning in any direction.

"I try to encourage my players to make as many visits as they can."

According to Coach Montecalvo, Travis is looking forward to attending the Nike Camp at Penn State this coming Sunday.

He is certainly interested in the Nittany Lions as well as other teams.

"I know he's very impressed with Coach Paterno.  He called me, Travis happened to come into the office and got to say hello to him."

Note:  Guy Montecalvo played for Penn State from 1973-76 and was also a graduate assistant from 1977-79.

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