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Science Hill RB Thomas has ‘legit’ talent to play for Power Five school

By Douglas Fritz • Jun 11, 2019 at 1:04 AM

Science Hill has a starting point for its offense that will give it an edge going into just about any game for the upcoming football season.

Chris Thomas is expected to be one of the best running backs in Northeast Tennessee, and he has the tools to draw legitimate interest from the highest levels of college football.

It’s not surprising when looking at Thomas’ recruiting profile. He easily fits the Division I mold, turning in a 40 time of 4.5 on the laser last year.

For perspective, the No. 8-ranked running back recruit in the nation is Marshawn Lloyd of Hyattsville, Maryland. Lloyd matches Thomas’ size — 5-foot-9 and 205 pounds — but he runs a slightly slower 40 time, according to 247Sports.

Thomas has the ability to play for a Power Five Conference school, said Science Hill coach Stacy Carter.

“He’s that fast, and he’s put together,” Carter said. “He’s legit. I’ve never had anybody like this.”

Included in the mix of Thomas’ recruiting stature is cleaning 315 pounds and squatting 500.

Carter said he was impressed with what he saw from Thomas during spring practice, which only added to the coach’s already-high opinion.

“He’s fantastic,” Carter said. “He played a little bit in the scrimmage against Knox West and really looked good. He’s the best I have ever coached.”

Western Carolina has come on strong in pursuit of Thomas, and East Tennessee State is very much in the picture. In fact, Carter said Thomas is brightly on the radar of most FCS schools.

“Western Carolina said, ‘He’s a no-doubter. We’ll take him.’ ” Carter said. “That’s how good he is.”

To play at the Division I level, Thomas has to qualify with a core GPA of 2.3 plus an 18 on the ACT.

In his junior season, Thomas rushed for 1,522 yards and scored 17 touchdowns. Included in those numbers was a rock-solid effort in the season-ending loss to Maryville in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs. Thomas carried 23 times for 140 yards.


During its recent Board of Control meeting, the TSSAA voted to change the postseason procedure for overtime in girls soccer.

The two five-minute sudden-victory periods have been removed. The tied teams will play two full 10-minute overtime periods. If a tie still exists after the overtime periods, the teams will move to the penalty-kick procedure as outlined in the National Federation of High Schools rule book.


According to the Twitter page for NCAA Research, Tennessee ranks 13th in the nation for percentage of high school baseball players recruited by Division I schools.

1. Georgia (6.7 percent)

2. Florida (6.4)

3. Virginia (6.4)

4. North Carolina (5.8)

5. Delaware (5.8)

6. Connecticut (5.4)

7. Louisiana (5.0)

8. California (4.8)

9. Maryland (4.8)

10. Nevada (4.7)

11. South Carolina (4.6)

12. New Jersey (4.5)

13. Tennessee (4.2)

Contact via email Douglas Fritz at dfritz@johnsoncitypress.com.