Racean Thomas - Running Back
Four-star running back Racean Thomas verbally committed to Auburn Aug. 2. after being pursued by almost every other Southeastern Conference team. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound back out of Oxford, Alabama is ranked as the No. 3 running back in the nation by multiple scout websites.
The "Roc" accumulated 3,304 yards rushing and 44 touchdowns during his sophomore and junior seasons at Oxford High School, according to 247sports.
Thomas is a powerful workhorse who can absorb hits but also possesses a full repertoire of evasive moves like cuts and spins. He is a great goal-line running back and focuses on a low pad level to explode through defenders.
"I really feel like it was the school for me," Thomas said via ESPN. "Whenever I come up here, they treat me like family. They run the same offense as my high school, so it's a good fit. I've had a great relationship with coach [Gus] Malzahn. The first day I met him I knew he was a good guy. He didn't tell me things I just wanted to hear, he told me things I needed to hear. He was honest with me from day one."
Thomas will join a backfield that lost its record-breaking runner in Tre Mason to the NFL Draft. The Tigers had four players to rush over 600 yards in 2013. Mason and quarterback Nick Marshall ran over 1,000 yards each while Mason broke Auburn legend Bo Jackson's single-season school record for yards on the ground.
Malzahn's read-option running game put a heavy load on the running backs last season. Auburn ran the ball 729 times compared to only 285 passing attempts which helped the Tigers post the best rushing statistics in the country. However, Thomas' receiving skills will be useful in that aspect of the offense as well.
If Thomas maintains consistent ball security and performs well under the stress of a no-huddle, run-based offense, he has the opportunity to be one of the best backs in college football by his sophomore year if the work ethic remains evident.
Here is the in-state commit in action: