In what many called the biggest recruiting coup in the modern era, the Oregon Ducks pulled off a shocker last winter when Los Angeles high school legend De'Anthony Thomas visited Eugene at the last possible moment and pulled the rug out from under longtime local favorite USC and made the call for the Ducks in an emotional press conference in the shadows of the LA Coliseum at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles.
There were many reasons that "The Black Mamba" made the switch and after the dust settled and he had time to reflect, Thomas caught up with duckterritory.com to update us on his status.
"There were a lot of rumors going around about me but people are always talking about this and that down here and that is one reason I really wanted to get away. It seemed like LA was closing in on me and people were always trying to hang onto me and ride my success. I had some good people that supported and understood my decision. I know a lot of people were disappointed and mad that I chose Oregon but it was the best move for me" said the 5-foot-10, 170 speedster.
With a bright future ahead at running back, db or the Oregon TZR position, Thomas feels like he can make an impact anywhere on the field.
"I came to Oregon for many reasons but a big one was that I know I can play in this offense. It is the best offense in the country and they play at such a fast speed with so many weapons that it will be awesome to be a part of that. A lot of people think my future is at corner or safety but I want to prove that I can be a threat in the PAC-12 on offense. I will return kicks, catch passes and run inside, outside and over the defense when I get the chance."
The campus and the academic programs were two other big reasons for the switch to Oregon.
"I had always liked Oregon but I fell in love when I stepped foot on campus. The campus is awesome and the coaching staff is amazing. I cannot wait to play for Coach Kelly and that offense. I just hope everyone is as supportive as I have heard. It will be tough to leave home but it is also a big step for me. The support Eugene gives the Ducks is as good as it gets. They are real fans that care about the team and the school and I look forward to doing what I can to make them proud that I am a Duck."
Thomas left one last thought for Duck fans everywhere before heading off to finish out his final days as perhaps the most legendary Crenshaw Cougar ever.
"I won LA City two straight years at "The Shaw" and the last two years for Oregon were just the beginning for us. I am a winner and I accept nothing less than titles. I expect to leave Eugene with the Ducks being the 5 or 6 time (reigning) PAC-10/12 Champs and a BCS title or two."