Utah Football: UTIS will rely on Tavion Thomas again in 2022

Tavion Thomas is grateful for the 12 months he spent within the Utah State soccer program.

He positively discovered a house with Utes.

“I’ve a whole lot of expertise right here. Every part is slowing down for me,” stated Thomas. “I’ve made some friendships right here, and a few good relationships right here. I discovered the tradition.”

Utah can be relying on him closely this season after he broke the varsity’s one-season file with 21 and in addition rushed for greater than 1,000 yards in 2021.

“Whenever you get to the NFL degree, you possibly can’t get away with sure issues that you would be able to get away with in faculty. Your unhealthy day will most likely be your final. I’ve to coach these guys to grasp that it’s a must to deliver it in every single day.” – Utah RBs coach Quinton Ganther on preserving his operating look excited

Thomas took a totally oblique path to Salt Lake Metropolis. After starring at Dunbar Excessive in Ohio, Thomas signed with Cincinnati. Later, he moved to Independence Group Faculty.

A 12 months in the past, Thomas arrived on the College of Utah campus and reported falling into camp a bit. He needed to work arduous to lose 10 kilos.

Within the season opener towards Webber State, Thomas rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns — but additionally flopped in each of the primary two video games of the season, significantly limiting his taking part in time. He solely had two campaigns within the subsequent two video games.

However all the pieces modified within the win at USC, the place Thomas ran 16 occasions for 113 yards, together with a 43-yard run.

In opposition to UCLA, he gained 160 yards and scored 4 touchdowns. In opposition to Stanford, Thomas rushed for a profession excessive of 177 yards and scored 4 TDs.

Throughout the season, Thomas appreciated the assist throughout the program for not giving in to him when he struggled with ball safety.

“It is a blessing to know that my teammates and coaches are beginning to belief me once more,” he stated. “I’m grateful to them for giving me one other probability and for believing in me. It was actually essential to know that they weren’t going to surrender on me.”

For the season, Thomas earned his first Pac-12 All-Convention Group Honor, and completed third within the FBS within the fast-landing. He ran 1,108 yards on 204 buggies.

Alongside the best way, Thomas has established himself as the subsequent excellent UT to run again.

It is no shock that Thomas is on the watchlist for the 2022 Doak Walker Prize.

“It means loads to me. However in the intervening time I’m targeted on the season,” he stated of the pre-season recognition. “If the awards come, after all I can be honored. However I am making an attempt to start out the season and deal with that now.”

Whereas Thomas has established himself as a operating again, Utes have stable depth in that place, with Micah Bernard, Chris Curry and Jaylon Glover amongst these additionally within the combine.

It is an open competitors and it is a good group,” stated offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig. “It is good however we clearly know what Tavion Thomas is about and what weapon that could possibly be on this assault.”

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Utah UTIS retreats from Tavion Thomas speaks to a member of the media after the primary day of fall camp outdoors the Spence and Cleon Eccles Soccer Middle in Salt Lake Metropolis on Wednesday, August 3, 2022.

Kristen Murphy, Deseret Information

Thomas embraces competitors in return.

“We now have to exit and compete every single day. The job is just not promised,” he stated. “You must are available for the competitors, work arduous and do the little issues proper. Whoever enters can do one thing. any of us. That is what motivated me.”

A primary 12 months operating in Utah, coach Quinton Gunter loves the expertise he is inherited, together with Thomas.

“The factor for me is that I will attempt to push and get each ounce of all the pieces they will do with out,” Ganter stated. “I do not need any of them to really feel snug. I do not need Tavon to suppose he made it and really feel snug that he does not wish to work. One thing like this occurs if the subsequent man is productive, I will not. I need the competitors to be excessive.”

“Whenever you get to the NFL degree, you possibly can’t get away with sure issues that you would be able to get away with in faculty. Your unhealthy day will most likely be your final. I’ve to coach these guys to grasp that it’s a must to deliver it in every single day.”

Left sort out Braeden Daniels and the remainder of the attacking line get pleasure from blocking Thomas.

“Having a man like that operating after you is nice,” Daniels stated. “The defenses are afraid of you even earlier than you play it. It is actually cool. He’ll hold working and doing his job.”

On the primary day of camp, Thomas soaked all of it up, figuring out that this was his final season in faculty soccer.

“I really feel extra targeted. I’m extra severe. I need it extra,” he stated. “Preserve attacking her day in and day trip and having fun with it too.”

Utah Utes running back Tavion Thomas celebrates scoring against Ohio State

Utah runs again Tavion Thomas scores towards Ohio State within the Rose Bowl 108 recreation in Pasadena, California, on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022.

Laura Seitz, Desert Information