Cougs offer Arizona athlete

IN THE ARIZONA DESERT, Kenton Thomas is a dual rushing and receiving threat with a passel of offers under his belt. But his calling at the next level might be on defense. The 6-1, 195 pounder has 4.5 speed plus the instincts and power to go along with it. Washington State is one of the schools who have offered, and the Cougs were down in Phoenix last week.

Besides WSU, Arizona State also visited Greenway High the week prior said coach Mike Brown, but the Sun Devils have not offered yet.

Thomas said in addition to Washington State, he holds offers from Arizona, Colorado, Utah, UTEP, Fresno State and San Jose State. Save for one school, recruiting him solely as a running back, all the schools have told him they can see him on either offense or defense.

"The only school that's said for sure they want me only on offense is Utah," said Thomas. "As long as I'm playing, I don't care where I'm playing at."

Besides lining up in the backfield, Thomas has excellent hands and is split out wide and utilized in a number of different ways at Greenway. Through three games this season, he had nearly as many receiving yards as rushing yards with over 700 hashes of total offense.

"He can catch the ball and he's a great high school running back, but he'll probably be a safety in college," said Brown. "He can cover. He's a cornerback for us but they see him as a safety type at the next level."

RECRUITING THE HARDEST are Washington State, UTEP and Colorado, said Thomas.

"What I'm mostly going to look at is when I'm going to play," he said. "I don't want to go somewhere and sit on the bench for two or three years. (But) I wouldn't mind sitting out my freshman year."

Academically, Thomas has some work to do and will take the SAT in October, after which he'll be setting up his official visits.

"Everyone's pretty even right now, I don't really have a top choice," said Thomas.

OPENING AGAINST THREE of the higher ranked teams in the state this season, Thomas rushed 34 times for 386 yards and five TDs, and had 14 receptions for 343 yards and three more scores. Defensively, he has 10 tackles and an interception and blocked field goal. This past Friday in Week 4, he had scoring runs of 44 and 24 yards on his way to four touchdowns.

As a junior, he tallied 27 tackles with two interceptions. On offense, he racked up 1315 yards which were nearly split right down the middle -- 673 yards rushing and 642 receiving yards, scoring 17 touchdowns on his way to being named first team All Region at running back for the second consecutive year.

Injured most of his junior track season, he is expected to again challenge at states next spring. Personal bests include a 49.02 in the 400 meters, a 22.29 in the 200-m and 11.04 in the 100 meters.

Thomas was named the Arizona Cardinals High School Player of the Week after his performance in a 42-41 thriller over Vail's Cienega High in Week Two. Thomas scored five times, with 14 carries for 181 yards and three touchdowns, and five receptions for 200 yards and two touchdowns. He also blocked the field goal that sent the game into overtime and caught the game winning two-point conversion in overtime.

Kenton Thomas profile

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