De’Anthony Thomas will join past marquee running backs LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner in getting Doak Walker consideration before the season starts. Thomas, already on a list for the Maxwell Award (player of the year) and the Hornung Award (most versatile), will join Ka’Deem Carey of Arizona State, Lache Seastrunk of Baylor and Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon on the list of the best projected running backs.
This is simply the latest of the honors to roll in for Duck football players in anticipation of the 2013 season. GoDucks says that six student-athletes have been named to watch lists in the past four days, and Thomas is leading the pack.
Thomas won’t be a workhorse, though, not if the team wants to get the most production out of him. De’Anthony’s best contribution will come from the slot, sprinting away from defensive backs in the open field, or swinging around and taking pitches in the back field.
Carey, Seastrunk and Yeldon should go into the year as the favored candidates because they will be their team’s best option, and will perform their duties in much more traditional offensive forms.
That’s not to say De’Anthony won’t be up for several awards, because he definitely will. Last year, behind Barner in the depth chart, DAT was one of two players nationally to tally 700 yards rushing, 400 yards receiving and 600 return yards. In his junior year, the flash from Crenshaw High School will be looking to top his previous performances and probably beef up draft stock — currently high with shorter guys like Randall Cobb tearing up the league.
De’Anthony is eight yards away from reaching 4,000 all-purpose yards, and has 36 career touchdowns. Against Nicholls State in 2013’s first game, he might be able to make both parts of that sentence inaccurate on his first touch.