The Wolverine

October 2011

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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������ commitment profiles Ohio Athlete Becomes Third 2013 Commitment For Wolverines When Alliance, Ohio, junior athlete Dymonte Thomas committed to Michigan, it was a major coup for the Wolverines. Not only is he projected as one of the state���s top prospects in the class of 2013, but he grew up a fan of the rival Ohio State Buckeyes. Fortunately for head coach Brady Hoke, Thomas��� childhood fandom didn���t play a role in his decisionmaking process. ���All I think about is a free education, and a lot of kids don���t get that around here,��� he said. ���I���m not paying to go to college, and I���m playing for a good team. And also at the same time they���re pretty high on education.��� If the education in Ann Arbor was enough to sell Thomas on Michigan, his excellent athleticism was enough for the Wolverines to covet him as a defensive back. He stands 6-1, 190 pounds, but has speed and quickness that is uncommon for a player that tall. He has been timed at less than 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash, and he���ll use that speed to patrol the secondary when he reaches Michigan. ���As of right now, they���ve recruited him as a safety,��� Marlington coach Ed Miley said. ���Notre Dame and other schools offered him as a tailback, and some are just talking to him about being an athlete. But I know Coach [Greg] Mattison called him a safety.��� lists Thomas as an athlete because he could project to many positions at the next level. There will be an adjustment period while he Dymonte Thomas, who was recruited to play safety for U-M, racked up 136 tackles, six sacks and two interceptions as a sophomore last year. photo by lon horwedel focuses on learning the safety position. In high school, he hasn���t had the opportunity to focus on that spot. His athleticism is too valuable to the team, and Marlington has used him all over the field. ���He���s played rush end, rush linebacker, inside linebacker, free safety, strong safety, corner,��� Miley said. ���He���s played all of those in one game. We really try to get him in position to make plays.��� The coaching staff���s strategy has paid off so far. In his sophomore season, Thomas made 136 tackles, sacked the quarterback six times, intercepted two passes and made one fumble recovery, and was selected Film Evaluation Strengths: Thomas passes the Division I eyeball test because of his speed and size. As a ball carrier, he shows a great ability to find the crease and get up field. In open space, he not only outruns defenders, he pulls away from them on his way to the end zone. Defensively, Thomas shows a high level of assignment awareness; his head is constantly scanning the field, demonstrating good football IQ. He also shows strong tackling skills, looking to wrap up ball carriers around their midsections and drive his legs on contact. Areas To Improve: Like all young players that transition their game to the college level, Thomas will need to get stronger to battle with Big Ten opponents. He will also need to improve his ability to use his hands to defend blocks. Many young players have the bad habit of using their forearms when making contact; forearms don���t shed blocks and they don���t keep blockers off as well as strong hands and arms do. Michigan Player Comparison: Donovan Warren (2007-09). Warren had all the tools for success when he arrived at Michigan and was a pretty good player. Brady Hoke will continue to stock the Michigan roster with tough-minded football players that play an aggressive style of game. ��� Analysis From 66��� the wolverine��� ������ October 2011 second-team Division�� III all-state. If that���s not impressive enough, he also used his speed to rack up serious rushing numbers. He gained 1,641 yards on just 186 carries for an average of 8.8 yards every time he touched the ball. ���I feel like once I get to the corner, I can outrun pretty much anybody,��� Thomas said. Though his physical gifts are many, Thomas is also a student of the game. According to Miley, he is improving quickly in the mental aspect of football. His knowledge and feel for the game have allowed him to become an even bigger playmaker. ���We���re a pressure team,��� Miley said. ���Dymonte knows how to set the stunts against the offense���s protection. By setting the protection in one game, he also set the team���s hot route. Dymonte baited them into throwing it to the hot route, and made the interception and returned it for a touchdown.��� Though Thomas won���t reach campus for another two years, it���s hard for Michigan fans not to be excited about the future. He joins Warren (Mich.) De La Salle quarterback Shane Morris and Madisonville, Ky., safety Jeremy Clark in the 2013 recruiting class, which has started very strong. If the first three commitments are any indication, it could be another special group of recruits for the Wolverines. ��� Tim Sullivan

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