Freshman De'Anthony Thomas was all set to play for the USC Trojans after making a commitment to the Trojans coaching staff during his junior year of high school. Things changed, however, and Thomas chose to play for the Oregon Ducks instead before signing day during his senior year, completing a change that moved the Crenshaw High School football star from his location in Southern California to much quieter Oregon.
On Saturday, Thomas will face off against the Trojans in a game that can only help remind him of his past decision. David Wharton of the LA Times relived Thomas' journey to becoming a Duck with the young star himself. Asked about his choice, Thomas had this to say: "I just felt comfortable here. I was surprised."
After USC parted ways with running backs coach Todd McNair- Thomas' sole close contact on the coaching staff- Thomas began thinking about possibly playing elsewhere. His quest led him to reach out to Oregon, who at the time hadn't even considered recruiting Thomas due to his commitment to USC.
One visit later- which included time with Chip Kelly and the coaching staff, Darron Thomas, Lamichael James and his host Kenjon Barner- Thomas left feeling good about becoming a Duck.
Thomas has since become a rising star on Oregon's offense. He leads the Ducks in receiving with 423 yards on 27 receptions and is also tied for most touchdowns with James at 13.
Now he faces the team that he almost played for in a match-up that Oregon needs to win to keep its Pac-12 and BCS hopes alive. The next fitting chapter in his journey may be a big game against the very Trojans that he grew up watching in Southern California.