Tailback/Wide Receiver/Return Specialist University of Oregon Ducks
Los Angeles, California
Crenshaw High School
Thomas holds Oregon records for kickoff return yards (1,885) and punt return average (17.13), and he’s fourth in career scoring (278 points). Talent evaluators liken his speed and versatility, having good success whether running, catching or returning the ball, to that of former New York Giants great, Dave Meggett. Thomas was also a key contributor to the university’s track and field team. He anchored the 4×100-meter relay that advanced to the 2012 NCAA Championships and ran the sixth-fastest time in school history, 39.89 seconds. Competing on the 2013 outdoor squad, he clocked the second-fastest time in both the 100 meters (10.31) and 200 meters (21.17) behind Ducks sophomore sensation, Arthur Delaney.
Thomas carried his legend over to his days at Crenshaw High School, where the Los Angeles native played running back, defensive back, and wide receiver for head coach Robert Garrett. During his junior season, Thomas produced 902 yards with 12 touchdowns on just 81 carries (11.14 ypc), as he pulled in 11 passes for 204 yards with three scores to help the Cougars compile a 14-1 record, ranking 13th in the state. The All-Los Angeles City Section and All-California Division South-2 performer also made 60 tackles with four sacks, three forced fumbles, seven pass deflections and a pair of interceptions in 2009.
As a senior, he collected 359 yards with four scores on 16 catches, returned a kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown, scoring twice on five interceptions for 122 yards. He tallied 42 tackles, gained 1,927 all- purpose yards and scored 162 points while rushing 114 times for 1,299 yards (11.4 ypc) and 18 touchdowns in 2010. Thomas was rated as the second-best athlete by Tom Lemming of CBS College Sports and named MVP by the City Section coaches, adding All-City first-team on defense and City Section Player of the Year honors. He was the recipient of the Glenn Davis Award, which is presented by the Los Angeles Times to best high school player in the Los Angeles area.
In addition to his success on the gridiron, Thomas was a standout performer in track at Crenshaw. He ran the fastest 200 meters in the nation by a prep player in the spring of 2010, clocking 20.61 seconds. He also won the 100 meters at the CIF Los Angeles Section meet with a time of 10.57 seconds. Thomas shared team MVP honors with tight end David Paulson and Pac-12 Conference co-Offensive Freshman of the Year accolades during his first season with the Oregon Ducks. He would become the only player in college to gain at least 400 yards as a receiver, ball carrier and kick returner in 2010, leading the league while placing 10th nationally with a 27.31-yard kickoff return average, running back two for scores.
Thomas also piled up 595 yards with seven touchdowns on 55 carries (10.82 ypc) while starting six of 14 games. He was second on the team with 46 receptions for 605 yards that included nine more scores. He ranked 11th in the FBS with an average of 159.64 all-purpose yards per game, amassing 2,235 yards, the second-highest total in school history. Thomas was a semi-finalist for the Maxwell Award (college player of the year) as a sophomore, as he started eight contests for the Ducks in 2012. He scored in some fashion in 10 of the 13 contests he appeared in, generating 1,757 all-purpose yards. He was third on the squad with 701 yards on 92 carries (7.62 ypc) that included 11 touchdowns, leading the squad with 45 catches for 445 yards and five scores. He also averaged 24.31 yards on 16 kickoff returns and 17.08 yards via 13 punt returns. Thomas finished the 2013 season fourth on the team with 96 attempts for 594 yards (6.19 ypc) and eight scores. He made 22 catches for 246 yards, scoring once on 21 kickoff returns for a 24.43-yard average to finish with a career-low 1,335 all-purpose yards.
Thomas appeared in 37 games at Oregon, starting 19 contests, as he carried 242 times for 1,890 yards (7.78 ypc) with 26 touchdowns, catching 113 passes for 1,296 yards (11.47 ypc) and a score Returned 73 kickoffs for 1,885 yards (25.82 avg) and four touchdowns Added 274 yards and a score on 16 punt returns (17.13 avg), along with recording five solo tackles Scored 278 points and generated 5,345 all- purpose yards, an average of 144.46 yards per game NCAA Career-Record Results Among active
NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision performers, Thomas ranks eighth in all-purpose yardage, as his 73 kickoff returns are tied for 19th, four kickoff return touchdowns are tied for second, kickoff return
yardage placed 15th and average of 50.95 yards gained per game via kickoff returns rank 23rd Pac-12 Conference Career-Record Results Thomas’ school record four touchdowns via kickoff returns are two shy of the conference record of six by Anthony Davis of Southern California (1972-74) School Career- Record Results Thomas holds the school record with four kickoff returns for scores and his average of 25.82 yards per kickoff return rank 11th His punt return average of 17.13 yards topped the old Oregon record of 16.16 yards by Cliff Harris (38 for 614 yards, 2009-11) His 1,885 yards generated on kickoff returns topped the old mark of 1,868 yards by Steve Brown (78 returns, 1979-82) Ranks fourth in school history with 278 points, placing behind LaMichael James (348; 2009-11), Jared Siegel (323; 2001-04) and Kenjon Barner (300; 2009-12) His 5,345 all-purpose yards are surpassed by only LaMichael James (5,869) and Kenjon Barner (5,848) on the school record list. The only other Duck to amass 5,000 all- Purpose yards in a career was Derek Loville (5,223; 1986-89).
After proving to be a multipurpose offensive threat during his first two seasons, the standout settled into the role of the team’s starting running back as a junior Started five of the 10 games he appeared in, finishing fourth on the team with 96 carries for 594 yards (6.19 ypc) and eight touchdowns Fourth on the squad with 22 receptions for 246 yards (11.18 ypc) and one score Returned 21 kickoffs for 513 yards (24.43 avg) and his fourth career touchdown Recorded one solo tackle vs. Oregon State and scored 60 points while amassing 1,353 all-purpose yards Was a serious candidate for the Paul Hornung Award, and was on the watch lists for both the Walter Camp Award and Maxwell Award, as well as the Doak Walker Award for excelling in his main position Accumulated six touchdowns in the first three
Games Had game highs of 83 yards on 13 carries that included a score, gaining 172 all-purpose yards vs. Tennessee to make the Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll Named Pac-12 Player of the Week (offense) after tying a career-best with three touchdowns (all rushing, from 1, 40 and 8 yards) at Virginia, eclipsing 100 yards on the ground (11-124) for the fifth time in his career after making the same feat the week before vs. Nicholls State (eight carries for 124 yards and scores of 4 and 22 yards)…The standout kickoff returner scored on an 86-yard runback vs. Utah and had a 1-yard touchdown run vs. UCLA.
Thomas was named to the watch lists for Walter Camp Award (national player of the year), Maxwell Award (player of the year) and Paul Hornung Award (nation’s most versatile player) Recognized as one of college football’s most electric talents as epitomized by his 13 career touchdowns of 30 yards or more, including six during his sophomore season, Thomas was also named a Maxwell Award semifinalist – given to the College Player of the Year, as he also averaged a touchdown for every 9.2 times he touched the football…Started eight of 13 games during the season, breaking the plane of the end zone in 10 of the appearances Garnered second-team All-American acclaim and honorable mention All-Pac 12 Conference applause…Became the first Oregon player in at least 47 years to score touchdowns rushing, receiving, returning punts and kickoffs in the same season…Also loomed as one of only two players in the country to accumulate more than 700 rushing yards, 400 yards receiving and 600 yards in kick returns in 2012…The sophomore eclipsed the 100-yard barrier two times on the ground, once as a receiver and one time as a kick returner…Ranked third on the team with 701 yards and 11 touchdowns on 91 carries (7.62 ypc), leading the Ducks with 45 receptions for 445 yards (9.89 ypc) and five scores…Returned 16 kickoffs for 389 yards (24.31 avg) and his third career touchdown Also scored on 13 punt returns for 222 yards (17.08 avg), adding two solo tackles while amassing 1,757 all-purpose yards His punt return average would have placed second nationally had he not fallen below the minimum NCAA standard of 1.2 returns per game necessary to be included Posted single-game benchmarks of 122 rushing yards at Oregon State, eight catches for 101 yards at California and scored a trio of touchdowns vs. Arkansas State and in Corvallis…Accumulated a season-best 222 all-purpose yards vs. Tennessee Tech, however tallied 195 yards vs. Kansas State and 187 yards at OSU in consecutive games Rushed for only 15 yards vs. Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl, yet produced 60 yards on four receptions and a season-best 120 yards in kickoff returns that included a 94-yard touchdown Compiled 122 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries and also returned two kickoffs for 61 yards at Oregon State Caught five passes for 59
yards with one touchdown and ran back three kickoffs for 68 yards at Southern California Carried the ball five times for 97 yards and a score and ran back a punt for a 73-yard touchdown vs. Colorado Ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns vs. Fresno State (seven carries), including a 51-yard scamper for a touchdown, as he also caught four passes for 26 yards and made one unassisted tackle vs. the
Bulldogs Rushed for 64 yards and one touchdown on three attempts and also caught four passes for 55 yards and two touchdowns in less than one half in the win over Arkansas State.
Named the Pac-12 Conference co-Offensive Freshman of the Year, Thomas added All-Pac-12 first-team honors as a kick returner and shared the team’s most outstanding player honor with senior tight end David Paulson Selected Freshman All-American by The NFL Draft Report and Sporting News Ranked 11th nationally in all-purpose yards (159.64 yards per game) Was the only player in the nation with 400 or more yards rushing, receiving and kick returning Ranked second on school’s all-time single-season ledger in kickoff return yards (983), seventh in all-purpose yards (2,235) and ninth in scoring (110) while appearing in all 14 games, starting six Was the team’s second-leading receiver with 46 catches for
605 yards (13.15 ypc) and nine touchdowns Was also the Ducks’ third-leading rusher with 595 yards on 55 carries (10.82 ypc) with seven scores Posted 314 all-purpose yards in Rose Bowl win vs. Wisconsin, carrying the ball twice for 155 yards and two scores – including a 91 yard scamper – and catching four passes for 34 yards to rank as school’s ninth-best single-game effort and a post-season record, as he also ran back five kickoffs for 125 yards vs. Wisconsin Caught two passes for 13 yards in the Pac-12 Championship Game vs. UCLA Finished with a game-high 197 yards (71 yards rush, 86 receiving, 40 kick returns) and caught one pass for a TD vs. Oregon State Produced 214 all-purpose yards, including 162 yards on three kick returns and caught three passes for 49 yards and one score vs. Southern California, as he had a 96-yard kick return for a touchdown, tying for the seventh-longest kick return in school history vs. the Trojans, earning CFPA National Kick Returner of the Week Caught a 41-yard pass for a score and ran back four kickoffs for 83 yards, finishing with 141 all-purpose yards and had one solo tackle in win at Stanford Made the most of his only rush with a 9-yard touchdown and also had 85 yards on a pair of kick returns, including a 69-yarder in victory at Washington Added two grabs for 54 yards, including a 45-yard score and also had 182 yards on five kick returns, including a 93-yarder for a Touchdown, totaling a game-high 262 all-purpose yards vs. Washington State. His efforts vs. Washington State earned him CFPA National Kick Returner of the Week and MAACO Bowl Las Vegas Player of the Week Had a career-best three touchdowns – one rushing and two receiving – and a career-high 114 receiving yards vs. California while also posting two kick returns for 37 yards in win vs. the Golden Bears.
Thomas also lettered on the Oregon outdoor track team as a sprinter Named a 2013 NCAA Division I All-American as the anchor of Oregon’s 4×100 relay team, he helped that unit clock at 39.59 at the Pac- 12 Outdoor Finals He has a personal best of 10.31 seconds in the 100 meters and 21.01 seconds in the 200 meters at the 2013 Oregon Preview He was also member of the 2011-12 outdoor team, helping the 4×100 meter squad finish second at the Pac-12 Finals (40.09) Joined track team following the conclusion of spring football practice and anchored the 4×100 meter squad to victory in 40.79. That relay saw dramatic improvement at the Pac-12 Championships where he anchored the quartet that went 40.11 in the preliminaries to advance to the final and then truly impressed in the final with a runner-up showing in 40.09. That was the eighth fastest time in school history Also ran the 200 meters at the league meet, clocking a season best 21.26 in the preliminary round During the 2011-12 outdoor season, he also had personal bests of 10.65 in the 100 meters (Oregon Twilight) and 21.26 in the 200 meters (Pac-12 Championships).
4.50 in the 40-yard dash 1.61 10-yard dash 2.55 20-yard dash 4.20 20-yard shuttle 11.33 60-yard shuttle 6.88 three-cone drill 32-inch vertical jump 10’-3” broad jump Bench pressed 225 pounds eight times 29 7/8-inch arm length 8 1/8-inch hands 72 1⁄4-inch wingspan.
Thomas attended Crenshaw (Los Angeles, Calif.) High School, playing football for head coach Robert Garrett Competed as a running back, defensive back, and wide receiver During his junior season, Thomas produced 902 yards with 12 touchdowns on just 81 carries (11.14 ypc), as he pulled in 11 passes for 204 yards with three scores to help the Cougars compile a 14-1 record, ranking 13th in the state The All-Los Angeles City Section and All-California Division South-2 performer also made sixty tackles with four sacks, three forced fumbles, seven pass deflections and a pair of interceptions in 2009 As a senior, he collected 359 yards with four scores on 16 catches, returned a kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown, scoring twice on five interceptions for 122 yards. He tallied 42 tackles, gained 1,927 all- purpose yards and scored 162 points while rushing 114 times for 1,299 yards (11.4 ypc) and 18 touchdowns in 2010 That performance was a major reason Crenshaw High recorded a 12-2 record en route to capturing the 2010 CIF Los Angeles Section state title Closed out his prep career playing in the U.S. Army All-American game after receiving a five-star recruit status from Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247Sports.com Considered the best athlete in the nation by Rivals.com and ESPN, and the top cornerback prospect by Scout.com and 247Sports.com Rated as the second-best athlete by Tom Lemming of CBS College Sports and named MVP by the City Section coaches, adding All-City first-team on defense and City Section Player of the Year honors Recipient of the Glenn Davis Award, which is presented by the Los Angeles Times to best high school player in the Los Angeles area In addition to his success on the gridiron, Thomas was a standout performer in track at Crenshaw Ran the fastest 200 meters in the nation by a prep player in the spring of 2010, clocking 20.61 seconds Also won the 100 meters at the CIF Los Angeles Section meet with a time of 10.57 seconds Was a two-time L.A. City champion in the 100 meters and once in the 200 for Crenshaw Won the 2009 city 100-meter title as a sophomore in 10.60 and then lowered that to a prep-best 10.57 in winning as junior in 2010 Best legal time in the 200, 21.01, came in the preliminaries of the California State meet Also anchored the 4×100 meter relay squad that was third in the state in 2010 (41.30) Ran a prep best of 50.10 in the 400 at the 2009 Mt. SAC Relays.
Thomas is majoring in Communication, with a minor in Family and Human Services Was a “favorite” of his first football coach when he began playing. As a 12-year-old, he was a Pop Warner Football legend while playing for the Crenshaw Bears in Snoop Dogg’s Snoop Youth Football League. Snoop Dogg claims to have given Thomas the nickname “Black Mamba”, though Sports Illustrated has written that another coach in the league first identified Thomas to Snoop Dogg as the “Black Mamba”. Thomas himself prefers the spelling “Black Momba”. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California.