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

running back tavon thomas He is grateful for the year he spent in the football program in Utah.

He definitely found a home with Utes.

“I have a lot of experience here. Everything is slowing down for me,” said Thomas. “I’ve made some friendships here, and some good relationships here. I learned the culture.”

Utah will rely on him heavily this season after he broke School drop-off record in one season With 21 and also rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2021.

“When you get to the NFL level, you can’t get away with certain things that you can get away with in college. Your bad day will probably be your last. I have to train these guys to understand that you have to bring it in every day.” – Utah RBs coach Quinton Ganther on keeping his running appearance excited

Thomas took a completely indirect path to Salt Lake City. After starring at Dunbar High in Ohio, Thomas signed with Cincinnati. Later, he moved to Independence Community College.

A year ago, Thomas arrived on the University of Utah campus and reported falling into camp a bit. He had to work hard to lose 10 pounds.

In the season opener against Webber State, Thomas rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns — but also flopped in both of the first two games of the season, greatly limiting his playing time. He only had two campaigns in the next two games.

But everything changed in the win at USC as Thomas ran 16 times for 113 yards, Including a 43-yard touchdown race.

against the University of Californiagained 160 yards and scored four touchdowns. against StanfordThomas rushed for a career high of 177 yards and scored four TDs.

During the season, Thomas appreciated the support within the program for not giving in to him when he struggled with ball protection.

“It’s a blessing to know that my teammates and coaches are starting to trust me again,” he said. “I am grateful to them for giving me another chance and for believing in me. It was really important to know that they were not going to give up on me.”

For the season, Thomas earned his first Pac-12 All-Conference Team Honor, and finished third in the FBS in the fast-landing. He ran 1,108 yards on 204 buggies.

Along the way, Thomas has established himself as the next outstanding UT to run back.

It is not surprising that Thomas was named V 2022 Doak Walker Prize Watch List.

“It means a lot to me. But at the moment I am focused on the season,” he said of the pre-season recognition. “If the awards come, of course I will be honored. But I’m trying to start the season and focus on that now.”

While Thomas has established himself as a regressive full-back, Yotis have a solid depth to the position, with Mika BernardAnd the Chris Carey And the Jaylon Glover Among those also in the mix.

“It’s an open competition and it’s a good group,” said the offensive coordinator. Andy Ludwig. “It’s good but we obviously know what Tavion Thomas is about and what weapon that could be in this attack.”

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Utah UTIS retreats from Tavion Thomas speaks to a member of the media after the first day of fall camp outside the Spence and Cleon Eccles Football Center in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, August 3, 2022.

Kristen Murphy, Deseret News

Thomas embraces competition in return.

“We have to go out and compete every day. The job is not promised,” he said. “You have to come in for the competition, work hard and do the little things right. Whoever enters can do something. any of us. That’s what motivated me.”

Utah for the first year turns his back coach Quinton Gunther He loves the talent he’s inherited, including Thomas.

“The thing for me is that I’m going to try to push and get every ounce of everything they can do without,” Ganter said. “I don’t want any of them to feel comfortable. I don’t want Tavon to think he made it and feel comfortable that he doesn’t want to work. Something like this happens if the next guy is productive, I won’t. I want the competition to be high.”

“When you get to the NFL level, you can’t get away with certain things that you can get away with in college. Your bad day will probably be your last. I have to train these guys to understand that you have to bring it in every day.”

Left Handle Brayden Daniels The rest of the offensive line has Thomas blocking.

“Having a guy like that running after you is great,” Daniels said. “The defenses are afraid of you even before you play it. It’s really cool. He’ll keep working and doing his job.”

On the first day of camp, Thomas soaked it all up, knowing that this was his last season in college football.

“I feel more focused. I am more serious. I want it more,” he said. “Keep attacking her day in and day out and enjoying it too.”

Utah Utes running back Tavion Thomas celebrates scoring against Ohio State

Utah runs back Tavion Thomas scores against Ohio State in the Rose Bowl 108 game in Pasadena, California, on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022.

Laura Seitz, Desert News

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