According to comments after Darron Thomas chose to forgo his senior season at Oregon and head off for the NFL, fans were pretty well united in their belief that Thomas made the wrong decision. On Friday, though, Thomas was invited to the NFL Combine, a huge step in becoming a professional football player.
His former high school coach, Bob Jones, said, “We can finally exhale.” Jones coached Thomas at Aldine High School in Houston Texas.
Find out why some were calling Thomas’ decision a good one.
Thomas is the all-time leader in touchdown passes at the University of Oregon with 66. In his two seasons as the team’s starting quarterback, he led the Ducks to a 12-0 regular season, a BCS National Championship game, two consecutive Pac-10/12 titles, and the team’s first Rose Bowl victory since 1917.
He burst onto the scene in the 2010 off-season after then-starting quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was kicked off the team for countless violations. As a redshirt sophomore, Thomas made an immediate impact.
However, he made a surprise decision on January 14 to enter the NFL draft, despite having a year of eligibility left. Both Thomas and LaMichael James, the team’s starting QB and RB, declared early for the NFL draft. Fellow running back Kenjon Barner also seriously considered it, but ultimately decided to stay put.
Thomas joins fellow Ducks Mark Asper (O-line), LaMichael James, Josh Kaddu (LB), David Paulson (TE), and Eddie Pleasant (S) as NFL Combine invitees.
While Thomas is still rather unlikely to be drafted – he isn’t athletic enough to switch to a new position – there is a possibility that a very strong NFL Combine performance will be enough to get him an undrafted free agent contract with an NFL team. And he can always point to former Oregon QB Dennis Dixon as proof that a player of his stature (Dixon: 6’3, 209; Thomas: 6’3, 215) and ability can get the job done as a serviceable backup in the NFL.
Thomas and fellow Pac-12 standout Andrew Luck have been working out together in Southern California to prepare for the NFL draft.
Have any thoughts of your own? You’re encouraged to comment at the bottom of the article!
© 2011 Max Price – All Rights Reserved.
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