Oregon Ducks running back De’Anthony Thomas is fast. This is hardly a revelation — he’s demonstrated it for two seasons on the already-lighting-quick UO offense. His ability to turn routine swing passes into huge gains, burst through the tightest of holes on the line and run back kicks has made Thomas one of the most exciting players in college football.
But De’Anthony Thomas is also one of the most exciting athletes in collegiate track.
.@1stclassmomba‘s 100-meter run in 10.31 is the nation’s third best time thus far. And he’s just staying in shape. OK.
— Sarah Kezele (@SarahKezele) March 19, 2013
Per The Oregonian, Thomas set a record in the 4×100 meter relay over the weekend to pace Oregon in its outdoor track season opener.
NFL scouts will be less interested in his 100-meter time than they are his 40-yard dash, but that isn’t too shabby, either. His 4.34-second 40 time would have slotted him second at February’s scouting combine.
Thomas should see an increased role for the football Ducks in 2013, with the departure of Doak Walker Award finalist Kenjon Barner. Thomas carried 92 times for 701 yards last season, reaching the end zone 11 times as Oregon’s change-of-pace back. At just 175 pounds, his frame could keep him from being the every-down back. However, former Heisman Trophy finalist back LaMichael James was not much larger, hovering around 190 pounds during his college career.
He scored another five touchdowns on receptions, slightly down from his nine in 2011. With 91 career receptions though, De’Anthony Thomas is as dangerous a weapon as new head coach Mark Helfrich has in his arsenal.
Thomas wowed in Oregon’s Fiesta Bowl romp over the Kansas State Wildcats, taking four passes for 60 yards and a touchdown, and returning a kick 94 yards to the house.
Below are more De’Anthony Thomas touchdown highlights that show just how explosive the junior-to-be is with some open field ahead of him: