From Texas to Alabama, then to Idaho via El Dorado, KS, JUCO RB Derrick Thomas has traveled a long…
JC RB on Boise State "I love the Smurf Turf!"
Junior college running back Derrick Thomas boarded a plane last week, taking off on an official visit to Boise State University. Admittedly, he didn't know much about his destination outside of the Bronco football program. "When I first got there, I was expecting something completely different," Thomas said, laughing. "I was thinking it was in the middle of nowhere." The 6-foot-1, 210-pound standout from perennial NJCAA power Butler Community College was pleasantly surprised. "There were great people, and a great school," he said, smiling. "I love the Smurf Turf!" Well aware of the Broncos' success on the field, Thomas was excited to meet Head Coach Chris Petersen. The two immediately hit it off. "Coach Petersen is just a laid back, mellow guy. Just a pretty cool guy," Thomas said of the 2010 Coach of the Year. "When I was there on my visit, I had a one-on-one meeting with him and he offered me." Thomas pointed out he didn't need very long to mull things over. "I committed right away," he said, clearly excited to be a Bronco. "It just felt like home." Thomas has finished his coursework at Butler, and he will be on campus in Boise for the start of the spring semester. He's excited to get started. "I think it's an advantage graduating in December," he said. "I can get the hang of everything and see how it operates. I get a head start with the weights and the running." This year at Butler, Thomas played in 12 games, rushing for 829 yards and 9 touchdowns while averaging 5.3 yards per carry. He was also a threat in the passing game, snagging 17 passes for 166 yards and 2 TDs. After splitting carries at the junior college level, Thomas joins the Broncos ready to compete for a spot in the backfield. "Coaches told me it's an open opportunity," he said, trailing off. "I can come in and go to work. My success depends on me and how much I put into it."
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