A sit down with Derron Thomas

Derron Thomas is a red shirt freshman running back from Gramercy, La. The Hurricane caught up with Thomas after Tuesday’s practice.

The Hurricane: How is your family holding up in the aftermath of Katrina?

Derron Thomas: Everybody is doing good; all the schools are open again. My little sister is in school, my brother is in school and my coaches are also back in school.

TH: What does the phrase “all about the U” mean to you?

DT: The U is a powerful word; it’s just the U. We had a lot of players that came through here like [Clinton] Portis, [Willis] McGahee, Ed Reed; we just take a lot of pride in the U.

TH: Growing up a Miami fan, how did it feel running through the smoke for the first time at the OB?

DT: It felt unreal to me. Like you said, Miami was my dream school ever since I was a little boy. When I got the opportunity to come out the tunnel for the Florida State game last year it just felt like a dream come true.

TH: You were recruited by schools like LSU, FSU and Nebraska. What did UM offer you that those other schools couldn’t?

DT: The chance to win a national championship every year, even though we haven’t won it in a couple of years. The coaches are great. This is the best opportunity for me because Miami is the best school for running backs.

TH: Coming into spring practice this year as a red-shirt freshman, what goals did you have to set for yourself to become the No. 2 running back?

DT: I just came in trying to compete, trying to earn a spot. I did real well in the spring, went 100 percent everyday, never let myself get down and kept on pumping and pumping.

TH: How is your relationship with the backs that you are currently in competition with?

DT: We hang together all the time. Andrew, Charlie and I are like best friends. We’re all real cool together. On the field it’s all competition. Sometimes you get a little jealous. You’re like “damn, I want to get that carry and score that touchdown,” but it’s all fun and games.

TH: How do you think previous running backs compare to the squad you guys have now with Charlie Jones, Andrew Johnson and Tyrone Moss?

DT: We all bring something to the table. Tyrone is more of a big physical back. Charlie is a real strong back. Andrew Johnson-he’s the taller one but he’s real fast, bringing a lot of speed to the table. I try to compare myself to Clinton Portis.

TH: What CD do you listen to get pumped on game day?

DT: Lil’ Wayne and Jay-Z.

TH: If end zone celebrations were allowed and you could pick from any, which one would you choose?

DT: I think I’ll do the sharpie and jump into the crowd [laughs].

Richard Lavi

October 11, 2005


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.