October 30, 2009

Thomas shines in run oriented offense

Demaryius Thomas continues to have an outstanding season at receiver for the Yellow Jackets. Recently he was named one of ten semi-finalists for the Biletnikoff Award, which is given to the best receiver in college football. Thomas is the third Georgia Tech receiver in their history to be named a semi-finalist for the award, along with Dez White and Calvin Johnson (Johnson won the award in 2006).

Recognition for this award is not something that Thomas takes lightly. According to him, "It means a lot to me, I'm the third player at Tech to be a semi-finalist. Earlier in the season and before I even came to Tech, a lot of people said that I would not catch a lot of balls, but it has paid off and I have made the most of my chances. It really means a lot to me to be a semi-finalist for this award."

Thomas currently leads the ACC in receiving with 93.4 yards per game and he leads the nation with 24.9 yards per reception. At his current pace, he will also break Calvin Johnson's single season Georgia Tech record of 1,202 receiving yards. Thomas has proven to be an explosive player with six catches of 50 yards or more on the season, including one in the last four straight games. He has been compared by some to Calvin Johnson, but he plays a much more physical brand of football than Johnson did at Georgia Tech. At 6'-3" and 230 pounds of pure muscle, Thomas has been moving up on draft boards week by week. It is still very early in the process, but he is currently projected as a second round NFL pick if he decides to go pro.

Amidst all of the attention, Thomas remains modest by saying, "I just try to come out every game and play my best and I try to get better every week. I have not really thought about going pro. I am just happy catching balls and trying to prove people wrong that said that I was not going to have a good year. I'm just looking forward to the next game."

Bay-Bay also recognizes that there are some areas of his game that he can still improve upon. He has had some difficulty making over-the-shoulder catches, which can be tough for receivers as they are often taught to catch the ball at its highest point. In tight situations, however, it is nearly impossible for a receiver to square their body in time in order to do this.

Thomas says that he needs to work harder on catching this type of pass. In his words, "It is a hard ball to catch and I need to practice more in order to make those types of catches in the game."

Tech faces their second SEC opponent of the season this weekend in Vanderbilt. They are looking to continue their unblemished record against SEC foes this year, having already defeated Mississippi State. The Commodores have struggled some this season, posting a 2-6 record thus far, but Thomas says that the team is staying focused by respecting their opposition.

According to Thomas, "A lot of people say that SEC football is better than ACC football, so we've got something to prove. We are going to come out this week and practice hard, then go to Vandy and give them our best."

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