football

Thomas is one of nations best backs

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Five simple words: I can do it all.
That's what De'Anthony Thomas wrote on his questionnaire at the Rivals.com Five-Star Academy at UCLA last weekend and the Los Angeles Crenshaw running back was not inaccurate. Thomas can pretty much do everything and that's why he's considered one of the nation's best backs.
Southern Cal, UCLA, Cal, Florida, Texas and others are being considered by Thomas, who uses blazing speed and incredible elusiveness to dominate opponents. Known around town as "The Black Mamba," Thomas has established himself as one of the nation's best players.
"The recruiting process has been going great," Thomas said. "I've been to a couple schools. Two or three weeks ago I went to Cal and I had fun up there. I went up with Victor Blackwell and Max Wittek and we had a pretty good time out there and then the day before that I went up to USC and it was great up there.
"They showed me the new facility they were going to have and how they were going to put me in the system and how I was going to be the next great running back they would have at USC."
Thomas, who said he, Blackwell and Wittek have considered playing together in college, would prefer to stay local - even with Florida and Texas showing some interest - which means Southern Cal, UCLA and Cal have to be serious contenders. All three Pac-10 programs offer Thomas something he likes.
At USC, being the next big-time back in Los Angeles means something to him especially since he's a local prospect. Thomas has been around the UCLA program for years because of former Crenshaw standout Brian Price, who declared for the NFL Draft. The two-back system at Cal could work perfectly, Thomas said, so the Golden Bears will stay in the mix.
"I live in a tough environment," Thomas said. "I'm just trying to stay out of trouble, do good in school and just hopefully I can make it and become the next million-dollar man (at Southern Cal).
"I've been here at UCLA since the ninth grade when Brian Price got here so Brian Price hooked me up with the coaches and I've been here and I love it. I'm comfortable here. When I was up (at Cal) they were talking to me about that where me and Trajaun Briggs could be the next two big backs there."
Thomas said Florida has recently reached out and the Gators' offense could be a perfect fit for the Crenshaw standout - whose game parallels UF running back Jeffrey Demps in many ways. Florida relies on speed and mismatches and Thomas can certainly take advantage of both.
Texas and Oklahoma are two other schools Thomas mentioned and when he goes to the Texas Relays in April he wants to check out the Longhorns.
"I was supposed to go to (Florida's) pro day but I couldn't make it because I had track meets and stuff like that," Thomas said.
"I really didn't want to run track this season because of all this football stuff but I didn't want to let my team down so I kept doing track and just let the recruiting process keep going. I don't really want to go that far because I want to stay local but if someone gives me a chance I'll go."
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