Hawk's Take: Todd Thomas

Former Toledo Rocket wide receiver Andrew Hawkins grew up in a family full of Pitt fans and now he will help us analyze the Panthers class of 2009 recruits as the PantherDigest.com's new recruiting analyst.

Name: Todd Thomas

Rating: ****

Height: 6'3"

Weight: 205

Hometown: Beaver Falls, Pa.

High School: Beaver Falls

Recruited By: Greg Gatusso


Thomas is a great athlete and is the cousin of Louisville's Derek Caracter. As a sophomore he was a first team All-State selection as a defensive back after he intercepted seven passes and also rushed for 814 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was also selected to the first-team All-state team as a junior, this time at running back after rushing for 1,300 yards, 16 touchdowns, 172 receiving yards and two more scores. He was also voted to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fabulous 22. He kept his streak alive as a senior, being named first team All-State a third time. He also has a career basketball average of over 20 points per game.

Scouting Analysis:

Positives: He has long arms, big hands and a cut frame that can easily add 15-20 pounds without a drop off in speed…He makes tough catches in traffic and adjusts well to the football…His background as a running back makes him tougher than your average wide receiver…great ability to run after the catch…He has long strides and deceptive speed…Has great body control for his size…catches the ball at the highest point…Has the ability to break tackles or elude defenders with his athletic ability…Great lower body power and good change of direction…Good initial explosion, which catches defenders off guard…Very physical with his hands which will translate into the ability to stalk block.

Negatives: He will have to improve his route running, because he rarely played the position in high school…He catches the ball well because he is a competitor, but he will have to polish his hands to make all catches away from his body…Has good speed but with his long strides he will have to improve on his acceleration…runs well when the football is in his hands, but has a tendency to run a little high.

The Panthers version of… Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson

"What does it all mean Basil?"

Much like Johnson, Thomas has above average physical ability that could make him a nightmare in college. His strength, toughness, and physical ability will allow him to easily get off of press coverage and excel with his run after catch ability. When you watch the film, you see some plays where he goes up in between multiple defenders and makes some ridiculous grabs. (Very reminiscent of a certain former Pittsburgh wide receiver) Thomas is a fierce competitor that has all the physical tools you need to be successful. I personally think he will end up being the darling of the class. Don't be surprised if…Thomas redshirts. I know I ranted about how I think the kid has the skills and physical ability to play tomorrow if needed, but with Wannstedt no longer on the hot seat, he will be more beneficial to the Panthers if he takes a year learning the ropes. (ala Michael Crabtree - Texas Tech).

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