The Auburn commitment was named the Alabama Gatorade Player of the Year after racking up 2,211 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns on 226 carries his senior season. Thomas is Oxford’s first recipient of the award.
“He’s well deserving of the award, and it came to no surprise to me when I heard the news,” Oxford coach Ryan Herring said. “I think Gatorade and the people associated with the award picked a great one. Roc has a lot of great things in store for him at Auburn.”
Thomas, who rushed for 6,169 yards in his prep career, is also a contender for the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Mr. Football award, which will be presented next month.
Thomas will play in Saturday’s Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game on Saturday at Cramton Bowl. Kickoff is set for noon.
SAKS RANKING: In what was a season to remember for the Saks football team, the Wildcats were placed at No. 23 in the Alabama Sports Writers Association Top 25 poll, which includes teams from all classes.
Saks received 115 points after finishing the season 13-1 and advancing to the Class 3A state semifinals for the first time since 1996. Class 6A state champion Hoover topped the poll with 644 points, followed by Class 5A state champion Spanish Fort (612) and 6A runner-up Auburn (521).
Munford, Oxford, Piedmont and Clay Central – in that order – also received votes.
RECRUITING NEWS: Oxford seniors Tae Davis and Desmon Owens are getting more and more looks as National Signing Day gets closer by the month.
Davis picked up an offer from Chattanooga this week and was also visited by Arkansas State. Georgia Southern is also showing a lot of interest in the safety, and Tuskegee has offered a scholarship.
“There are a lot of non-SEC people recruiting him right now because he fits the mold of safeties and is real rangy,” Oxford coach Ryan Herring said. “He has a good nose for the ball.”
Owens, wide receiver, is getting a lot of interest, too. Herring said he is getting a lot of looks from schools similar to Davis, and that Jacksonville State offered him a scholarship.
“People are looking at him,” Herring said. “JSU offered him back in the summer, but we haven’t heard anything from him of late. Georgia Southern really liked him. I think the recruiting will come more and more when they see his film. He has great film.”
ALL-STAR INTEREST: Local interesting surrounding the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game on Saturday runs deeper than Oxford’s Thomas runs through opposing teams’ defenses.
While Thomas is the only area senior playing in the game, Jacksonville State commitment Wyatt Roberts is one of the two quarterbacks for the Mississippi team.
Roberts, who plays football and baseball for Lousiville High, threw for 2,995 yards and 38 touchdowns this season with a 59 percent completion rating. The seniors threw only five interceptions.
Roberts threw for 9,371 yards and 106 touchdowns in his career.
Players have been in Montgomery since Monday, practicing twice a day for Saturday’s game. Thomas is joined by follow Auburn commitments Kamryn Pettway (Prattville), Stephen Roberts (Opelika), Tre’ Williams (St. Paul’s) and Justin Thornton (Vigor).
Alabama’s commitments in the game are Ronnie Clark (Calera), Shaun Hamilton (Carver-Montgomery), Keith Holcombe (Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa) and Josh Casher (St. Paul’s).
The Alabama squad has won the last five Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Games.
Brandon Miller covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575 or follow him on Twitter @bmiller_star.