Less than a month ago, Dayton (OH) Dunbar three-star tailback Tavion Thomas held less than 10 scholarships offers but held impressive offers from Michigan State, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Just a few weeks later, Thomas holds over 20 offers, including Alabama, Michigan and Ohio State, to go from relative unknown to perhaps the hottest prospect in the nation.
Though the sudden attention from several of the nation’s top programs is welcomed, Thomas says the sudden surge in his recruitment isn’t his main focus.
“I really don’t worry about that at all,” he told BadgerNation. “I’m just focusing on my next season and making my team better. We are trying to play for that state title, but don’t get me wrong this attention is really great. I feel really good about it, but I try to keep my head right in focus.”
One of Thomas’ most recent offers was from Ohio State. After evaluating Thomas for some time, the Buckeye staff felt they had seen enough and extended an offer to the local product. Being an Ohio prospect makes the Buckeye offer just a bit more exciting for Thomas.
“It feels really amazing to have an offer from my home state school,” said Thomas. “It’s really a blessing. What I like about Ohio State is that they really keep it real.”
Perhaps his biggest offer comes from the national runner-ups in Alabama. Nick Saban’s recent on-the-field success and the Tide’s history of developing elite college level running backs is sticking out to Thomas early on.
“I really like the Crimson Tide,” Thomas said. “Just their tradition and success. The fact that they love big backs. I fit in.”
Although the major powers of the college football world have begun to jump in with Thomas, he knows that Wisconsin was there before his meteoric rise in the recruiting world.
“Wisconsin, they are still the favorite for me right now,” Thomas said, excitedly. “I know that they’ve been here for me. I’m just waiting to visit Wisconsin to see if that really is the place for me.”
Thomas, who will visit Madison sometime this spring, is a big fan of Wisconsin’s success in producing N.F.L. running backs, particularly that of the New England Patriot’s James White. It comes as no surprise that the Badger coaching staff has made their run-first playing style a key point in their pitch to Thomas.
“That success, that’s a big plus in my book,” said Thomas. “They pitch me just their style of play and how Wisconsin is a family atmosphere. The coaching staff shows me a lot of love.”
Having rushed for 1,600 yards and 18 touchdowns his junior year, Thomas said Alabama and Ohio State are his other top schools with Michigan and Oregon also being heavily considered.