Kansas First To Offer Van’s Aphonso Thomas
The first offer is in for Van 2016 running back Aphonso Thomas, and it comes from Kansas. The Vandals' standout tweeted the news Thursday evening.
That gives the 2016 East Texas recruiting class 10 players with at least Division I FBS offer.
Thomas (6-0, 190) was one of the unsung heroes of Van's undefeated run through the regular season. Splitting carries with senior Matt Savis, Thomas finished his junior year with 106 carries for 934 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The Van playmaker displays good vision and the ability to run through tackles at the line of scrimmage. Several of his biggest gainers last season came as a result of excellent open-field vision and quality downfield blocking from his receivers.
Kansas, who is under the new direction of head coach David Beaty, is trying to turn around a program that's been among the Big 12's worst in the last decade. The Jayhawks were 3-9 overall and 1-8 a year ago, and have not won more than three games in a season since 2009 or made a bowl game since 2008.
Beaty arrives in Lawrence, Kan., after serving as the receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at Texas A&M. His ties to the state should serve him well in efforts to recruit players from Texas.
Van, which finished 10-1 in 2014, must replace several graduating impact seniors. Thomas' experience will be counted upon greatly next fall with the loss of most of the Vandals' offense.
2016 East Texas Football Players With Division I FBS Offers
- Austin Anderson, OL, Mineola, 6-4, 289 – offers from Arkansas State, Cincinnati, Houston, Illinois, Louisiana Tech, Missouri, North Texas, Northwestern, SMU, Southern Miss, TCU, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Vanderbilt (15)
- Riley Anderson, OL, Mineola, 6-5, 287 – offers from Arkansas State, Cincinnati, Houston, Illinois, Louisiana Tech, Missouri, North Texas, Northwestern, SMU, Southern Miss, TCU, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulsa (14)
- Demarco Boyd, RB/LB, Gilmer, 6-0, 215 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Baylor, Florida State, Texas A&M (4)
- Zach Hall, ATH, Tyler Lee, 5-11, 170 – offer from Texas Tech (1)
- Travon Fuller, CB, Athens, 6-0, 160 — committed to Texas A&M (1)
- Brandon Jones, S, Nacogdoches, 6-0, 190 — offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, Boise State, Florida State, Georgia, Houston, Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Purdue, SMU, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tulsa, USC, Washington State (35)
- Braylon Jones, DT, John Tyler, 6-3, 285 – offers from Air Force, Army, Houston, Navy (4)
- Bronson Massie, DE/LB, 6-3, 202 – offer from Louisiana Tech (1)
- Kendrick Rogers, WR, Frankston, 6-4, 185 — offer from North Texas, SMU (2)
- Aphonso Thomas, RB, Van, 6-0, 190 -- offer from Kansas (1)