A few Duck fans have been trashing De'Anthony Thomas since his announcement to turn pro.
It's important to remember "Once a Duck, Always a Duck." Jonathan Stewart, LaMichael James, Jairus Byrd and Haloti Ngata all left early, and like Thomas, they had great Duck careers and have brought credit to Oregon as professionals, generous in their support of the program since moving on. James attended the spring game last April. Stewart donated $250,000 for the running backs squad room in the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex. They've filmed public service spots and represented the program at the next level (photo KEZI-9 Sports).
Having players have success as pros is ultimately good for the program and recruiting. And no one should fault a young man for pursuing a dream he's had since Pop Warner.
In addition, Thomas made a special connection to the Eugene community. He was a radiant light working with kids. Before you criticize his motives or intentions, take a second look at this video from last season.
After he's done playing, DAT has a bright future working with kids, running a youth program, a YMCA, coaching, or in community outreach. From Erik Elkins of KEZI Channel 9:
"At the six yard line, De'Anthony Thomas."
"Thomas, already got a crease."
"There he goes. And THERE he goes. HE'S GONE! Ninety four yards on the opening play! Touchdown!"
"Kansas State just found out what speed really means."
As did we all.
But then, we already knew, didn't we? We will miss De'Anthony for his talent and speed. We will miss him for his cutbacks that faked many a defender out of his shoes or left them tackling air. But most of all, the team, the fans, and the university will miss the example he set with that clever smile and indomitable happiness that infected others as much as it disarmed them.
DAT was an awesome Duck, and will be an excellent ambassador for Oregon sports. Run well, my friend! I hope you end up in Philly. lol
I certainly will miss DAT next season. I think this last season was a unfortunate mix of things that were detrimental to his performance, and maybe next season those would be avoided, and he's be incorporated into the offense, and be a major contributor. But, for him to decide to leave, it makes all the sense in the world. So, for me, rather than waste time trashing the young man, who has filled my memories with so many fantastic scenes, I wish him well, and as Dale pointed out, former Ducks have been great ambassadors for the program, and I have no doubt that DAT will be the same.
Honestly, I'm really going to miss the guy. He was great to watch both on the field and in interviews...his face just sort of beamed happiness and self acceptance. We were lucky to have had him at Oregon...amazing memories. I can't remember ever seeing another football player quite like him....ever...and I'm old enough to have seen a few. Good luck DAT!
DeAnthony Thomas brought us a human highlight reel. The Rose Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl will come to mind for years and years. He was always spotted doing good work with young kids. We are wishing you the best DAT. "Thanks for the Memories".
DAT gave us many great moments and we all wish him well in the future. His success in the NFL can reflect well for The Duck Program.
That was an amazing moment, so much so that the description brings the picture to mind. Well said. And hey, a post actually worked for you, Z!
Going to be very interesting to see how he does as an NFL player. Hopefully he goes to a team that will use him properly. LMJ has been wasted in San Francisco.
That's a great description of a guy with a unique place in Oregon history. He will be missed and we wish him well.
Well said, GNK.