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Alex Shoemaker alex.shoemaker@eugenedailynews.com http://alexshoemaker.org https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alex-Shoemaker/418102894890655 MrAlexShoemaker

Alex Shoemaker

Alex's passion is writing about NW sports, and as a native Eugenian and Churchill High School alumni, he understands how important sports are to the Eugene community. He also received his degree from the University of Oregon in 2013. After a year as Sports Editor at EDN, Alex is now the Sports Editor at the Buffalo Bulletin in Buffalo, Wyoming. You can reach Alex on Twitter @MrAlexShoemaker


More By The Numbers

EDN: By The Numbers 
#6 – De’Anthony Thomas

  • Position
  • Other Position
  • Alma Mater
  • Grad Year
  • Number
  • Running Back
  • Wide Receiver/Kick Returner
  • Crenshaw HS (California)
  • 2011
  • 6
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Oregon Ducks running back De’Anthony Thomas, a junior from Crenshaw High School (Los Angeles, California), enters his third season in the Oregon program.

Before joining the Ducks, Thomas already had a legendary football career where he developed as a youth on his Godfather Snoop Lion‘s (aka Snoop Dogg) teams to his prep career where he was one of the top players in the country. An interesting note: Snoop was the one to give Thomas his nickname of Black Mamba, calling Thomas the fastest thing to move in grass.

Thomas played multiple positions in high school, excelling as a running back, wide receiver, cornerback, safety and a return man. Thomas earned four stars from ESPN and five stars from Scout, Rivals and 247Sports. While Scout listed Thomas a CB and the others had him as an athlete, each one ranked DAT as the No. 1 overall prospect for his respective listed position.

Here’s one scouting report on Thomas:

“The only player I’ve ever said that could legitimately be 5-Stars at four different positions, RB, S, CB, WR. The only thing that keeps Thomas from being the #1 prospect in the country is that he’s on the small side. But his combination of raw speed, change of direction, balance, and natural athleticism is at the top of the heap. His long term future may best be served at corner where his size isn’t a liability.” – Scott Kennedy

In 2011, Thomas impressed in Fall Camp and was easily able to shred a redshirt and play as a true freshman. Thomas, despite a poor start to his collegiate career that included two devastating fumbles against LSU, finished the season with 55 rushes for 595 yards (10.8 YPC), 46 receptions for 605 yards (13.2 YPC), three punt returns for 52 yards (17.3 YPR), 36 kick returns for 983 yards and 18 total touchdowns.

His honors for the year included:

  • Pac-12 Co-Offensive Freshman of the Year
  • Team’s Most Outstanding Player Award
  • All-Pac-12 First Team (Pac-12 Coaches, Phil Steele)
  • Freshman All-America (Sporting News)
  • All-Freshman First Team (Phil Steele)
  • CFPA Kick Returner
  • Performer of the Week (Washington State, USC)

In 2012, Thomas had another sensational season, participating in all 13 games and starting nine. He rushed the ball 92 times for 701 yards (7.6 YPC), 45 catches for 445 yards (9.9 YPC), 13 punt returns for 222 yards (17.1 YPR), 16 kickoff returns for 389 yards (24.3 YPR) and 18 total touchdowns. His highlight of the season came in the 2013 Fiesta Bowl by returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown.

His honors for the year included:

  • 2nd Team All-America (FOXSportsNEXT.com)
  • Maxwell Award Semifinalist (College Player of the Year)
  • Pac-12 All-Conference Honorable Mention (Pac-12 Coaches)

Thomas did not participate in the 2013 Oregon Spring Game due to a minor injury, but he is 100% healthy and will be for the start of the season.

Going into the 2013 season, Thomas will be in prime position for an all-American campaign. While I don’t expect Thomas to be the team’s primary running back, big things are definitely due. He will put up gaudy numbers on the ground, catching the ball and on special teams if someone is stupid enough to kick it to him. Don’t be at all surprised if Thomas is bringing home lots of hardware.

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