Jahad Thomas blossoming into answer at RB

It ‘s only been two years since Montel Harris and Matt Brown left – following the stellar career of current Baltimore Raven Bernard Pierce – and the task of replacing them continues. But it’s possible that search is coming to an end with the emergence of quarterback P.J. Walker’s former Elizabeth High School teammate Jahad Thomas.

It seemingly took five years for the Temple University football team to find a long-term answer at quarterback before freshman P.J. Walker grabbed the reins last year.

It‘s only been two years since Montel Harris and Matt Brown left – following the stellar career of current Baltimore Raven Bernard Pierce – and the task of replacing them continues.

But it’s possible that search is coming to an end with the emergence of Walker’s former Elizabeth High School teammate Jahad Thomas. The sophomore has grabbed the role of starting running back, emerging from a time share arrangement with Kenny Harper and Jamie Gilmore. Temple didn’t run the ball much in last week’s loss to Centeral Florida but Thomas carried eight times for 27 yards, while Harper and Gilmore had one carry each.

In the previous game – a 31-10 loss to Houstin – Thomas gained 49 yards on seven carries and also caught three passes for 150 yards.

Thomas gained 152 yards on 14 carries in a win over Tulas three games ago, the contest where he started to grab hold of the starting running back job. Overall, he has 353 yards on 54 carries – a 6.2 average – and has eight catches for 237 yards – a 29.63 average.

Clearly, Thomas’ explosiveness is top among the many attractive qualities he brings to the position.

“I do think I’m a dynamic player,” said Thomas.. “If you give me open daylight, I can definitely work with something.”

Thomas’ ascension to starting running back would have been considered a long shot at the beginning of the year. He spent last season as a defensive back and didn’t move to offense until midway through training camp.

“I feel pretty good about myself where I came from transitioning over to offense, but I know there’s things I need to improve on, like catching the ball, looking it all the way in,” said Thomas. “I’m not satisfied. I’m just out here grinding every day in practice, competing against the other backs. I’m pushing them to be the starting back just like they’re pushing me.

“It was definitely a shock … I was nervous going into the (opening) Vanderbilt game, getting a chance to play. But once I got centered and relaxed, it’s just football. I went back to being patient and running the football and it’s starting to show in my play.”

Thomas said he has always preferred the offensive side of the ball.

“When they were recruiting me, it was a debate where I would play, but once I got here I was a defensive player,” said Thomas. “But when I was at corner last year, I always had that offensive mindset in the back of my head. A couple weeks before Vanderbilt, they moved me and they stuck with me.”

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