Oregon Ducks running-back De’Anthony Thomas has it all. Lightning speed, mini-dreadlocks, a couple school records and a ten yards-per-carry average. What most don’t know about the sophomore from Los Angeles, Calif., is that he played football in the Snoop Youth Football League when he was a little boy.
Chip Kelly and his Ducks are 5-0 and potentially on their way to another National Championship shot. They fell short to Cam Newton, Gene Chizik and the Auburn Tigers back in 2011. This, however, is a new Ducks squad. No more Darron Thomas, no more LaMichael James. It’s now Kenjon Barner and the “Black Mamba,” Thomas.
Thomas had a breakout true freshman season last year, as he totaled 2235 all-purpose yards while finding the end-zone 18 times, a true freshman school record for touchdowns.
Thomas waited till the end of his freshman campaign to have his coming out party, though. He is a man of style, which is why he totaled 314 yards against the Wisconsin Badgers in the 2012 Rose Bowl, a game that the Ducks won 45-38. Here is some footage from Thomas’s coming out party.
Thomas has been deemed the “Black Mamba.” There is debate about where the LA native received his nickname, but it was undoubtedly given to him during his time as a member of the Snoop Youth Football League. Snoop Dogg claims to have been the originator of the nickname, but some speculate it was given to Thomas by a coach. Whether it was a coach or Snoop, the nickname stuck.
Thomas played for the Crenshaw Bears when he was 12 years old. Snoop Lion, as he currently likes to be addressed, started the football league in 2005 with the goal of teaching inter-city kids life lessons through the sport of football.
Thomas, 19, has now been in the athletic spotlight for almost ten years. He even ran some Track and Field for the Ducks earlier this year, placing in multiple short-run events. If one can be a beast at 5’9, 175 pounds, it is Thomas.
Paul Bentley is a contributor to Rant Sports
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