EUGENE, Ore. (BVM) –In the early 2010s, there were not too many more exciting players in college football than De’Anthony Thomas. Every time he touched the ball, there was potential for a touchdown no matter where he was on the field.
While Thomas’ NFL career was not as successful as he would’ve hoped, he still managed to make an impact.
Becoming an elite recruit
Thomas was sought after by colleges early on in his high school career. Rated as the No. 13 player in the 2011 recruiting class according to 247 Sports, Thomas had offers from schools all across the country.
He excelled at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles. In his senior year, he ran for 1,299 yards with 18 touchdowns and five interceptions on the defensive side of the ball.
Following the season, he committed to the University of Oregon, staying on the west coast.
While it takes time for most freshmen to adjust to the next level, Thomas quickly emerged as one of the best players in the country despite his age.
The 5-foot-9, 176-pound playmaker did just about everything for the Ducks‘ offense taking handoffs, lining up as a receiver, and also handling kick and punt returns. He finished his first season with 2,235 all-purpose yards and 18 touchdowns, the most amongst the freshman class.
De’Anthony Thomas was different at Oregon 👀🔥 pic.twitter.com/f2lipk8VQV
— Footballism™ (@FootbaIIism) August 17, 2021
He was an easy selection for the freshman All-American team.
Oregon was matched up with Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl that postseason and Thomas continued his excellent performance despite the big stage. He finished the game with 314 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, leading the Ducks to a 45-38 victory.
As a sophomore it was much of the same, finishing with 1,757 all-purpose yards and 18 touchdowns. Thomas once again led them to a big bowl victory, this time in the Fiesta Bowl over Kansas State.
His junior season was not as prolific, only having 840 total yards with nine touchdowns, but he still decided to declare for the NFL Draft following the year, opting out of his senior year.
In the 2014 NFL Draft, Thomas was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth round. In his first preseason, he showed exactly what he can bring to the table with an 80-yard punt return touchdown.
While Thomas had 14 carries and 23 receptions as a rookie, his role was mainly held to a returner. He finished the year with 428 kick return yards and 405 punt return yards with a touchdown.
In year two, his offensive role was switched to primarily a receiver. He wound up with 17 catches for 140 yards in 2015.
Unfortunately for Thomas, Kansas City brought in a guy by the name of Tyreek Hill in 2016, making Thomas expendable. He lasted with the Chiefs until October 2019, when he was released.
He was picked up by the Ravens to finish out the season, but this would be his last year in the NFL.
Where is he now?
In February 2022, Thomas signed with the BC Lions of the CFL, extending his football career. But when rookie training camp came around in May, Thomas did not attend.
Thomas is no longer listed on the Lions‘ active roster and there have been no new reports on if Thomas looks to continue to play football.
He is however very active on social media and is now a brand ambassador for Okay Bears Yacht Club, an NFT company.