Pierre Thomas was a standout for the TF South Rebels and head coach Tom Padjen. Thomas had a highly successful career at Illinois and has been with the New Orleans Saints since being signed as undrafted free agent in 2007.
Name: Pierre Thomas
High School: TF South
High School Height: 5-foot-11
High School Weight: 180 pounds
High School Graduation Year: 2003
Position: Running Back
Rivals.com ranking? Thomas was a three-star ranked recruit and the 32nd best running back nationally in the Class of 2003. Thomas was also ranked as the state's No. 7 recruit in the Rivals.com State of Illinois Top 25 recruit listing. Simply put, Thomas was a consensus miss by any and all evaluators coming out of TF South.
Thomas was simply a highly productive and effective running back coming out of TF South. Thomas had very good speed and vision. The biggest question mark on Thomas out of high school is if he would be able to become an every down back and whether he could add more weight and size at the next level. Thomas, even as a high school player, had an exceptional work ethic which has served him well on every level of his football career. Thomas gave Illinois and then head coach Ron Turner his verbal commitment on July 8th, 2003. Thomas was offered a scholarship earlier that summer after an impressive summer camp performance and pledged to the Fighting Illini a few weeks after landing the offer.
EDGY's early impressions of Thomas? Thomas simply had all of the tools you look for in a back, yet the questions remained during his recruiting process. I also wondered if Thomas had the potential to be a rugged, every down back. Yet, getting to know Thomas, you could sense that he was a highly motivated, hard working intelligent kid. Many scouts/evaluations also couldn't see that Thomas played with a tremendous amount of heart and determination. Thomas has had an exceptional career and proved the many critics and evaluators wrong.
Bonus Thomas: Thomas was part of the Fighting Illini Class of 2003 recruiting class that featured 14 of 27 recruits who were in-state players. The Class of 2003 also featured former Hubbard/JJC and current Chicago Bears defensive back Kelvin Hayden.