July 6, 2009

GMC receiver hopes to make a name

MILLEDGVILLE - Who's that?

Mention the name Chris Thomas of Georgia Military College and that's quite likely the response you'll receive.

Unlike well-known instate recruits like Da'Rick Rogers and Antonio Goodwin, Thomas is flying under the proverbial radar as much as one can possibly get.

Grades helped keep the former Laney standout from signing with a big-time program right out of high school, and a hand injury helped secure a redshirt year after arriving on the campus in January of last year.

You won't find a speck of film on the 6-foot-1, 185 wideout with 4.4 speed, and if you do remember him from his high school days, receiver isn't even the position he used to play.

That could be about to change.

In GMC's recent spring game, Bulldog coach Bert Williams moved the former cornerback to wide receiver and he responded with over 200 all-purpose yards - in just the first half.

"We moved him to wide receiver and he really flourished there," Williams said. "He's not super tall, but he's got a thick body with great speed. He's a very dynamic player at receiver and got a lot of attention in the spring. Since there is no game film, a lot of these schools will probably wait until we get some from this fall before they make a final decision but don't think there's a doubt that Chris is a I-A player."

The Georgia Bulldogs have taken notice.

Bulldog defensive coordinator Willie Martinez attended GMC's spring game, which was cut short due to lightning and saw Thomas first hand.

He apparently liked what he saw in the Augusta native, who is an unabashedly big Bulldog fan.

"After the (spring) game I come to find out from my coaches who told me that word on the street that my favorite school was kind of looking at me," Thomas said. "I'm walking around here every day bragging. I'm a big-time Georgia Bulldog fan. I'm probably the biggest Georgia fan that's actually at another college. Every day I'll have my Georgia hat on."

Thomas said the Bulldogs have begun sending him recruiting literature through the mail. Apparently, former Laney teammate Corvey Irvin has also put in a good word.

"I talked with Corvey right before he got drafted and he said he talked with Coach Martinez who said they were interested," Thomas said. "Every morning I come in this weight room I'm thinking how much I could make my family proud if I could get that offer from Georgia."

Granted, Thomas knows he will have to prove himself on the field this fall before he can begin thinking about that.

"The process is really just getting started for me since I didn't get to play last year," he said. "This year is going to be the first time coaches have been able to see me play but every coach that came out for the spring game saw what I'm capable of."

Thomas credits teammates Jakar Hamilton - who is expected to choose Saturday between Georgia and Alabama - for helping him get the most out of his game.

"Jakar motivates me every day. I've put some moves on him and he's put some licks on me," Thomas said. "I'm the spark of the offense and he's the spark of the defense. When you come out to watch us practice, 17 and 10, you'll tell yourself that those two guys know how to get after it."

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