Feature: Arizona WR Thomas Continues to 'Cash In'
Sept. 13, 2007
By Ari Wasserman
Arizona Daily Wildcat
September 13, 2007
Tucson, AZ (CSTV U-WIRE) -- They have called him 'Money Mike' since he stepped onto the practice field as a freshman, and two years later, junior receiver Mike Thomas has continued to live up to the name.
Though Thomas stands just 5-foot-8, making him one of the smaller players on the Arizona football team, his personality and energy make up for the lack of size.
'I guess when it's time to make the money, I come through,' Thomas said. 'That's what you come to work for, to put something in the bank. So when it's time to cash in, you have to cash in.'
Thomas has done plenty of cashing in at Arizona, including an explosive performance in last weekend's 45-24 victory over NAU.
The receiver touched the ball 10 times, resulting in a career-high 170 all-purpose yards and a touchdown. Thomas extended his streak to 14 consecutive games with at least one reception.
The junior said he was happy to get the ball in any way he could, and it showed. Thomas led the team in rushing after scampering down the field for 80 yards on four rushes, including a combination of different reverse plays. He also got 35 yards on a kickoff return.
Thomas' ability to produce big plays is something UA head coach Mike Stoops has recognized, and he said he plans to incorporate Thomas more into his gameplan.
'He brings great versatility to our offense,' Stoops said. 'We are trying to use all our personnel and making sure we are keeping people honest in how they play us.
'Those reverses have been good to us, and we will continue to explore ways to get the ball to him.'
Though Thomas is known as a hard worker who thrives on success and getting the job done - and a player who should be a major part of Arizona's new offensive scheme making strides - when the junior is around there is never a dull moment.
When he doesn't have the ball, you can find him trash-talking, cracking jokes with his teammates or laughing,
Thomas said he thought at times he was comparable to Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson, who combines entertaining quips and gestures with superior play on the field.
'I usually don't talk much, but lately I've been chatting a little bit to the opponent,' Thomas said. 'That's what it's all about, having fun. This game can eat you up, but if you have fun it turns out to be a good deal for you.'
'I love the guy,' Thomas added about Johnson. 'He is a great player and the league loves him, too. He works hard and he makes plays.'
Making plays is something that Thomas said he prides himself on, but his teammates recognize him as somebody who lightens the mood on and off the field.
'It is pretty funny we when get into the huddle,' said fullback Earl Mitchell. 'He talks to us before the play even starts, and he gets you amped up. He makes a lot of jokes. ... Always funny.'
(C) 2007 Arizona Daily Wildcat via CSTV U-WIRE