Utah Football: UTIS will rely on Tavion Thomas again in 2022

Tavion Thomas is grateful for the 12 months he spent within the Utah State soccer program.

He positively discovered a house with Utes.

“I’ve plenty of expertise right here. Every thing is slowing down for me,” stated Thomas. “I’ve made some friendships right here, and a few good relationships right here. I discovered the tradition.”

Utah shall be relying on him closely this season after he broke the varsity’s one-season document with 21 and in addition rushed for greater than 1,000 yards in 2021.

“While you get to the NFL degree, you’ll be able to’t get away with sure issues which you can get away with in faculty. Your dangerous day will in all probability be your final. I’ve to coach these guys to grasp that you must deliver it up daily.” – Utah RBs coach Quinton Ganther on maintaining his operating look excited

Thomas took a totally oblique path to Salt Lake Metropolis. After starring at Dunbar Excessive in Ohio, Thomas signed with Cincinnati. Later, he moved to Independence Group School.

A 12 months in the past, Thomas arrived on the College of Utah campus and reported falling into camp a bit. He needed to work exhausting to lose 10 kilos.

Within the season opener in opposition to Webber State, Thomas rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns — but in addition flopped in each of the primary two video games of the season, vastly limiting his taking part in time. He solely had two campaigns within the subsequent two video games.

However every thing modified within the win at USC, the place Thomas ran 16 occasions for 113 yards, together with a 43-yard run.

Towards UCLA, he gained 160 yards and scored 4 touchdowns. Towards Stanford, Thomas rushed for a profession excessive of 177 yards and scored 4 TDs.

Throughout the season, Thomas appreciated the help throughout the program for not giving in to him when he struggled with ball safety.

“It is a blessing to know that my teammates and coaches are beginning to belief me once more,” he stated. “I’m grateful to them for giving me one other likelihood and for believing in me. It was actually essential to know that they weren’t going to surrender on me.”

For the season, Thomas earned his first Pac-12 All-Convention Crew Honor, and completed third within the FBS within the fast-landing. He ran 1,108 yards on 204 buggies.

Alongside the best way, Thomas has established himself as the subsequent excellent UT to run again.

It is no shock that Thomas is on the watchlist for the 2022 Doak Walker Prize.

“It means rather a lot to me. However in the intervening time I’m targeted on the season,” he stated of the pre-season recognition. “If the awards come, after all I shall be honored. However I am attempting to begin the season and give attention to that now.”

Whereas Thomas has established himself as a operating again, Utes have stable depth in that place, with Micah Bernard, Chris Curry and Jaylon Glover amongst these additionally within the combine.

It is an open competitors and it is a good group,” stated offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig. “It is good however we clearly know what Tavion Thomas is about and what weapon that may very well be on this assault.”

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Utah UTIS retreats from Tavion Thomas speaks to a member of the media after the primary day of fall camp exterior the Spence and Cleon Eccles Soccer Heart in Salt Lake Metropolis on Wednesday, August 3, 2022.

Kristen Murphy, Deseret Information

Thomas embraces competitors in return.

“Now we have to exit and compete daily. The job isn’t promised,” he stated. “You must are available for the competitors, work exhausting and do the little issues proper. Whoever enters can do one thing. any of us. That is what motivated me.”

A primary 12 months operating in Utah, coach Quinton Gunter loves the expertise he is inherited, together with Thomas.

“The factor for me is that I’ll attempt to push and get each ounce of every thing they’ll do with out,” Ganter stated. “I do not need any of them to really feel snug. I do not need Tavon to suppose he made it and really feel snug that he does not need to work. One thing like this occurs if the subsequent man is productive, I will not. I would like the competitors to be excessive.”

“While you get to the NFL degree, you’ll be able to’t get away with sure issues which you can get away with in faculty. Your dangerous day will in all probability be your final. I’ve to coach these guys to grasp that you must deliver it up daily.”

Left sort out Braeden Daniels and the remainder of the attacking line get pleasure from blocking Thomas.

“Having a man like that operating after you is nice,” Daniels stated. “The defenses are afraid of you even earlier than you play it. It is actually cool. He’ll maintain working and doing his job.”

On the primary day of camp, Thomas soaked all of it up, realizing that this was his final season in faculty soccer.

“I really feel extra targeted. I’m extra critical. I would like it extra,” he stated. “Hold attacking her day in and time out and having fun with it too.”

Utah Utes running back Tavion Thomas celebrates scoring against Ohio State

Utah runs again Tavion Thomas scores in opposition to Ohio State within the Rose Bowl 108 recreation in Pasadena, California, on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022.

Laura Seitz, Desert Information