Oregon Ducks Football: De’Anthony Thomas Has Been Named Preseason All-American
Sophomore De’Anthony Thomas has been named a CBS All-American as a kick returner for the upcoming season.
Thomas is the only player from Oregon to be named as a preseason All-American. Last season, LaMichael James was named as a preseason All-American at running back and Cliff Harris was named at CB. The kicker returner was Toledo’s Eric Page. On 30 returns in 2011-12, he compiled 703 yards and no touchdowns. His longest run was 68 yards.
In his freshman year, Thomas caught 36 kick returns for a total of 983 yards. His average (27.31 yards per return) was significantly better than Page’s (23.43 yards per return) and he was an absolute difference maker all year long.
Thomas has already been named to the watch list for the Walter Camp Award as well as the Maxwell Award, both given to the Player of the Year, and many have begun to wonder if leaving Thomas open to be hit in the backfield for a kick return is worth the risk of an injury.
This, of course, prompted OregonLive.com to ask if opponents wold even bother to kick the ball to Thomas to begin with. At 5’9” and 170 lbs., Thomas is slightly more fragile at the position to be thrown around by linebackers.
OregonLive continued to ask if Thomas is too valuable to return kicks to begin with. To quote reader Jason Curtis:
I don’t think we should have [Thomas] returning kicks. Yes, he is the best on the team. But I think with the lack of depth at RB we shouldn’t risk it. Give him all his touches from RB and TZR positions. With as much speed … as we have on the team, I have to think there are other guys who can return the ball with not too much drop off.
If he has another successful season, Thomas could be in contention for the Heisman Trophy by the time that the year is over.
The Oregon Ducks Pit Crew is very proud of De’Anthony Thomas and is incredibly excited to watch him play in the 2012-13 season.
Do you think that it will be worth it to keep Thomas as a kick returner? Do you think his impact as a difference maker will help the Oregon Ducks on the offensive side of the ball this season? As always, the Oregon Ducks pit Crew is interested in hearing your opinion. #GoDucks!