Healthy Thomas aims to impress

New Jersey tailback has recovered from surgery with his first offer and plenty of big-name suitors

Adonis Thomas is back on his feet and getting ready for the beginning of the football camp season.

A 5-foot-9, 170-pound class of 2007 tailback prospect from Shabazz High School in Newark, N.J., Thomas underwent successful surgery last month to remove a thin titanium rod from his leg. The rod was inserted alongside his femur in the fall of 2004, after he broke the bone during Shabazz's season opener.

Thomas, who started on the varsity as a freshman in 2003 and ran for more than 1,000 yards, bounced back from his injury to rush for about 1,350 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, helping the Bulldogs reach a state championship game.

The titanium rod was removed March 8.

"Everything was good," Thomas said of the operation, in a telephone interview Wednesday night. "(The rod) got removed successfully and I'm back on my two feet; I'm back moving and everything."

Thomas said it took two-to-three weeks for him to recuperate following surgery last month.

"I just had to restore the muscle back in my left thigh, but… everything is almost back to normal," he said. "I would say like another week I'll be right back where I left off, probably a little bit faster."

Thomas should improve on the 4.69-second 40-yard dash he recorded at the U.S. Army All-American Combine in January. Last month, Thomas said that he has run the 40 in 4.45 seconds. He has been timed at 11.3 seconds in the 100 meters.

Thomas ran track as a sophomore, but he is holding off on joining the track team this spring until after a combine he is attending in early May.

"I'm just about to start prepping for this combine and then after the combine I'll probably start running track," Thomas said.

Thomas picked up his first scholarship offer last Friday, from Kansas State.

"I got an offer from Kansas State and my coach said that Syracuse is supposed to be sending me an offer," Thomas said. "And I've been hearing from Penn StateMarshall and schools like that."

The Wildcats began recruiting Thomas only about two months ago, and did not show him considerable interest until last month. So Thomas was pleasantly surprised to receive the offer.

"It's a Big 12 Conference school," he said. "That's a conference the size of the Big Ten that I would really want to play in. It's a good school."

Thomas said that Wisconsin has been sending him mail, but the Badgers have not yet invited him to a summer football camp.

"I want to go to some camps… I want to try to make it to all of them, but I know that's not possible," he said. "But I'm going to try to go to Penn State's camp… If I go to two camps, I'll probably go to Penn State and Kansas State.

"Florida sent me some camp papers but I don't think I'm going to be able to make it all the way down to Florida."

Along with Kansas State, Thomas said his favorites are Iowa, Florida, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Penn State.

"Those are a lot of schools I've been looking at," Thomas said. "The only thing about Florida that made me uncomfortable is the fact that Florida passes the ball a lot and as a running back I can't really be used a lot in Florida's offensive scheme."

Thomas said he has been following the schools that are showing interest in him, and paying special attention to how much eligibility their running backs have. If the players at the top of the depth chart are upperclassmen, his attention perks up.

That does not bode well for the Badgers, if they were to offer Thomas a scholarship, since they have three redshirt freshmen vying for playing time at tailback this spring, a highly regarded true freshman coming in this fall (Lance Smith), and are intent on recruiting class of 2007 in-state star John Clay.

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