Mike Thomas # WR
Height: 5-8 Weight: 198 Age: 26
Born: 6/4/1987 Bossier City , LA
Experience: 4th season
High School: De Soto HS [TX]
Selected By: Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick (Overall): 7 (107)
Thomas is a classic case that big things come in small packages. Having played for a team in a rebuilding process, as a senior he led the team to its first bowl game appearance in nine seasons. The Wildcats would have probably been sitting home in January if not for Thomas' outstanding performance in a variety of roles, amassing 1,648 all-purpose yards while scoring touchdowns rushing, receiving and returning punts in 2008.
Regarded as the school's best all-purpose threat, Thomas closed out his career setting the school and Pac-10 Conference all-time record with 259 receptions. His 3,231 receiving yards placed eighth in league annals and third on the Arizona record charts, as his 23 touchdown grabs tied for third in Wildcats history. He amassed 4,891 yards, the fourth-best career total at Arizona.
Thomas excelled in football, track and basketball at DeSoto High School. He earned a spot on the 2004 All-District 7-5A team as a wide receiver on offense and return specialist. He added Prep Star All-Midlands, Super Prep All-Southwest and Houston Chronicle Texas Top 100 accolades. He was rated among the nation's top 30 receivers, receiving a four-star prospect grade from Max Emfinger's recruiting service.
As a senior, Thomas rushed 333 yards on a mere 26 carries and had 15 receptions for 205 yards in a run-oriented offense. That year, he helped the team compile a 9-2 record. After his final season, he competed for the West team in the 2005 U.S. Army All-American Bowl at San Antonio, a game that featured the top 78 national players.
Thomas enrolled at Arizona in 2005 and made an immediate impact. He was named Pac-10 Conference Freshman of the Year, the first Wildcat to ever earn that honor. He also added Freshman All-American second-team honors. He played in every game, starting four contests, but was used as a decoy in the season finale vs. Arizona State after having surgery to repair broken bones in his forehand. He led the team with 52 receptions for 771 yards (14.8 avg) and five touchdowns. He added 40 yards and a score on five carries and generated 811 all-purpose yards.
Thomas' hand injury at the end of 2005 caused him to miss more than a month of the 2006 off-season training program. He started 10 games at split end, placing second on the team with 50 catches for 597 yards (11.9 avg) and two scores, adding six carries for 68 yards (11.3 avg). He also recorded four solo tackles on special teams.
The 2007 season saw Thomas garner national attention. The All-Pac 10 Conference first-team choice led the team with a career-high 83 receptions, the third-best season total in school annals. He amassed 1,038 yards (12.5 avg), the fourth-best total in a campaign by a Wildcat. Eleven of those grabs resulted in touchdowns, tying the Arizona single-season mark.
Thomas finished third in the league with an average of 152.17 all-purpose yards per game. He took over kickoff return chores, totaling 615 yards on 26 attempts (23.7 avg) and rushed 10 times for 173 yards, including one score.
Thomas became just the 12th player in league history to earn All-Pac 10 Conference first-team honors at multiple positions in the same season (as a receiver and punt returner) in 2008. He started all 13 games, leading the league with an average of 5.69 receptions per game, hauling in 74 passes for 825 yards (11.1 avg) and four touchdowns.
He scored once on 24 carries for 114 yards and returned 14 kickoffs fo317 yards (22.6 avg). As a punt returner, he ranked second in the league and 15th nationally with a 13.52-yard average on 29 attempts with two scores. His average of 126.77 all-purpose yards per game ranked fifth in the Pac-10.