Junior to Watch: Derron Thomas
School: Reserve (La.) East St. John
Position: All-purpose back
Size and speed: Thomas is 6-foot and 185 pounds. He has been timed at 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the LSU summer camp and by his high school coach. Thomas also has a 32.5 inch vertical leap, 225-pound bench press and a 415-pound squat.
Honors: Thomas was a first-team all-district pick as a junior, along with earning all-River Parish honors and all-metro and all-state recognition.
Statistics: Thomas rushed for 1,589 yards on 149 carries and 20 touchdowns as a junior. He also caught 13 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns.
Favorite Schools: Thomas lists Michigan, Colorado, LSU, Miami, Florida State and Tennessee in order as his favorites. He said he has written offers from Michigan and LSU.
Skinny: The true all-purpose back is a rarity in today’s high school football. It seems like you’re either a guy that carries the ball 500 times a game or a guy that never touches it in passing situations. But that’s not the case with Reserve (La.) East St. John running back Derron Thomas.
That’s because Thomas is definitely an all-purpose back.
“It’s what I do,” he said. “I go out there and run it and I also catch it. I’m an all-purpose do it all running back.”
And that’s already caught the eye of numerous college coaches – including Michigan and LSU, which have already laid down scholarship offers.
But getting big time attention is nothing new for players from East St. John. Just this last year, four star defensive end Vegas Franklin signed with Miami and four star outside linebacker Kirston Pittman signed with LSU. Coach Larry Dautrieve said Thomas has the same type of ability.
“He’s just special with the ball,” his coach said. “A lot of people came in and watched tape on Kirston and Vegas and wanted to know about the running back that was tearing it up on offense. That guy was Derron.”
So what will Thomas be looking for when it’s time to sit down and make a decision?
“Two things,” he said. “Two things and that’s it. I am going to look at the education and the loyalty of the coaches. That’s it. That’s the most important things to me.”