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Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas declares for NFL draft

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Scott Olmos/USA Today Sports
Oregon running back De'Anthony Thomas scored 46 touchdowns in 37 career games.

Oregon running back De'Anthony Thomas will forgo his senior season and enter the 2014 NFL Draft, making the announcement Sunday.

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Thomas (5-foot-9, 169 pounds) proved to be one of the most explosive, exciting and versatile players in college football, excelling as a rusher, receiver in the slot and out of the backfield, and return specialist.

Thomas scored 46 total touchdowns (26 rushing, 15 receiving, four on kick returns, one on a punt return) in his three seasons with the Ducks, but his junior season was scuttled by a sprained ankle. When he returned to the lineup late in the year, Thomas had fallen behind sophomore Byron Marshall and freshman Thomas Tyner in the running back pecking order.

Nicknamed the "Black Mamba" by rapper Snoop Dogg, Thomas could be an extremely valuable specialty player if paired with a creative offensive coordinator. However, because of his small stature, many teams could view Thomas as nothing more than a luxury capable of contributing on only a handful of snaps per game.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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