East Paulding High School tailback Kamani Thomas is compared to Alabama star Trent Richardson by his coach, and that’s not a stretch.
Alabama may be thinking the same, as Crimson Tide running backs coach Burton Burns showed up at East Paulding last week to scout Thomas, who is considered by some to be Georgia’s No. 1 prospect at running back for 2013 (he’s a junior).
“He reminds me of the Richardson kid at Alabama,” East Paulding coach John Reid told the AJC. “He’s got big legs, all the muscles, and the quickness, the power and speed. He’s really quick once he gets his shoulders squared up.”
The 5-foot-9, 190-pound Thomas will be the featured player when East Paulding plays North Paulding at 7:30 tonight in Thursday Night Football. The game can be seen live on WSB-TV digital channel 2.2 or at wsbtv.com.
Thomas, who rushed for nearly 2,000 yards last year as a sophomore, has early scholarship offers from Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Southern Miss, and Troy, along with serious interest from many SEC and ACC schools, including Alabama, LSU and Georgia Tech.
His dream school is Michigan. With East Paulding playing on Thursday, Thomas and his father will fly to Michigan on Friday for an unofficial visit this weekend.
“If it was my choice, I’d sign with Michigan,” Thomas told the AJC. “I’ve always been a Michigan fan. My dad is a Michigan fan. I’ve got a lot of family up there.”
Last week, Thomas made an unofficial visit to Alabama, where he got some one-on-one time with coach Nick Saban. “Coach Saban was really busy after the game, but they got me in to see him. He said he watched my film, and that he liked the way I played.”
Georgia Tech assistant Brian Bohannon also stopped by East Paulding to check on Thomas.
What about UGA? They came by last spring, and Thomas plans to make an unofficial visit to UGA for the Mississippi State game. “They run a lot of I-formation like we do, and I look forward to getting up there and meeting everybody,” Thomas said.
Thomas missed East Paulding’s first three games of the season with a toe injury to his right foot. He could’ve played in all of them but the coaches held him out for last week’s showdown against Kell. Thomas had 22 carries for 142 yards, including a 79-yard touchdown run, in the 34-0 win. “I’m 100 percent, I feel great,” Thomas said.
North Paulding coach Heath Webb was impressed. “Kamani is the complete package at running back. He can outrun you, he can put a move on you, and he can run through you. He can catch the ball out of the backfield well, too. He’s really good.”
Thomas has a 3.3 GPA and plans to study Computer Science or Engineering in college.
To watch Kamani Thomas live on web at 7:30 p.m., go to this link
TOP 10 FOOTBALLRECRUITING STORIES
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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