De'Anthony Thomas will forgo senior season to declare for NFL draft

Kevin Casey

The Oregon running back has one year of NCAA eligibility left, but will choose to skip out on his senior year to take his speed to the NFL.

From the moment he burst onto the scene at Oregon three years ago, nobody expected De'Anthony Thomas to stick around Eugene for all four years. On Sunday, Thomas confirmed that expectation, announcing that he will forego his senior year to declare for the NFL draft.

Thomas finishes his collegiate career with 5,345 all-purpose yards, ranking third in school history behind LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner. Thomas found his niche on kick returns, finishing with 1,885 kickoff return yards and averaging 17.1 yards per punt return. Both are school records at Oregon. During his three years with the Ducks, Thomas returned one punt and four kickoffs for touchdowns.

In the backfield, Thomas rushed for 1,890 yards and 26 touchdowns over his career. 2012 was Thomas' best rushing season with 701 yards and 11 touchdowns. Thomas also racked up 15 receiving touchdowns during his time with the Ducks.

Thomas also had success with Oregon's track and field team, anchoring the 4x100 team that advanced to the 2012 NCAA Championships.

As a freshman, Thomas literally averaged a first down every time he touched the ball at 10.8 yards per carry. Thomas ran for 595 yards and seven touchdowns. That year, his BCS appearance in Oregon's Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin was brief, yet explosive, with two carries for two touchdowns, including a 91-yard run that ranks as the second longest in school history.

Thomas also played an important role the next year in the Fiesta Bowl as he returned the game's opening kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown, setting the tone for the win over Kansas State.

After an explosive start to 2013 with consecutive 100-yard rushing performances against Nichols State (128) and Virgina (124), Thomas fell off the radar after an ankle injury during Oregon's win in the monsoon over Cal on September 28. Thomas would miss the next three games and struggled upon his return, with a combined 72 yards over the next three games, never really returning to classic DAT form we had come to know and love.

Thomas had hoped that after the departure of James and Barner, he would become Oregon's go-to back. After his ankle injury however, Byron Marshall and Thomas Tyner became the new duo in the backfield, once again leaving Thomas in the shadows.

Despite a disappointing junior season, someone will certainly pick up Thomas to provide a spark to their special teams. He's much too small to be a durable NFL running back, but could make some noise returning kicks. Obviously, a player like Devin Hester is one comparison that instantly comes to mind. Hester exploded onto the scene in 2006, setting the record for non-offensive touchdowns with six. Hester also had a stint as a receiver before returning specifically to special teams.

Somewhere in Philly, Chip Kelly is smiling ear to ear and is already building his draft strategy around DAT.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Addicted To Quack

You must be a member of Addicted To Quack to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Addicted To Quack. You should read them.

Join Addicted To Quack

You must be a member of Addicted To Quack to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Addicted To Quack. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker