March 27, 2010
CMU gets early jump on top in-state RB Thomas Rawls
It didn't take Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos long to unearth one of Michigan's top hidden gems when he targeted Flint Northern (MI) running back Thomas Rawls. As a junior, Rawls put up ridiculous stats on both sides of the ball as he totaled 1066 yards and 16 touchdowns rushing on 138 carries while notching 101 tackles on defense. And the Chippewas took notice, as they extended an offer to Rawls last weekend.
"Well, I was on the computer checking my email and emailing my recruiting coordinator, CMU's wide receivers coach Terry Samuels and he told me to give Coach (Dan) Enos a call. I did and Coach Enos said he wanted to give me a full ride. Man, my heart was beating and I was like is this for real? But it was my first offer and I was real excited that they thought that highly of me" said Rawls.
The Chippewas staff and Rawls had the opportunity to meet each other face to face during CMU's Junior Day earlier this spring.
"I went up for their Junior Day, and I really love the coaches. They are all real nice guys and they have me really thinking about Central Michigan."
Helping CMU's cause is the budding relationship Rawls is developing with his main recruiter in Chippewas wide receivers coach Terry Samuels.
"He's real cool," said Rawls with a laugh. "I really like him, he has a nice personality and he's just an easy going guy to talk to."
While Central Michigan has separated itself from other schools at the moment, it's clear that Rawls has placed his priorities in the correct order when looking at potential college programs.
"Academics, that's the first thing I'm looking for in a school," said Rawls. "It's just like my parents and coaches have said to me, you're a student first and an athlete second. And then I know Central Michigan has been having a lot of success up there, so that is something else that sticks out to me."
Central Michigan is Rawls lone offer at the moment, but a host of other schools are showing interest. Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Illinois and Michigan State are just a few of the programs who are still evaluating Rawls. This summer, he plans on making a name for himself as he plans on hitting the camp circuit hard.
"Man, I'm going to be going everyplace. I know Coach Samuels said CMU has a camp this summer, so I will most likely be at that."
Last season the 5-foot-10 and 215 pound Rawls was named All-Area as a running back, despite his team's struggles.
"I'd say my power, my speed and my acceleration are my top strengths," added Rawls. "That and my ability to hit the hole. That's my mentality, I have to hit the hole and that's my goal every time, accelerate through the hole and try and take it to the house."
In spite of Rawls outstanding production last season, the Vikings finished the season at just 3-6 overall, but that was a marked improvement from their 1-8 finish in 2008. In fact, Flint Northern has won just 11 games since 2002 and next season Rawls hopes to reinstall the winning mentality for his program.
"We're still trying to get some guys moved up from JV and the roster set, we're really looking forward to getting a quarterback because that's what we need," said Rawls. "But we're looking pretty good so far and I can't wait to get back out there and get after it again."
Thomas Rawls is yet another talented player whom Dan Enos and Central Michigan got an early jump on. The talented Rawls is one of the elite runners in the state of Michigan and the Chippewas early recruitment should pay dividends as his offer sheet is sure to expand.
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