O’Leary isn’t at all surprised by Thomas’ results.
“I wish I had 10 more just like him,” he said. “Johnny had an outstanding combine with exceptional 40 time, which was best for his position and I believe second fastest overall, as well as a great vertical jump. He’s on a lot of people’s radar for national recruits, and as he matures he’ll get bigger, faster and stronger.
“Under Armour is a big national event, and the advantage of having it down South is the weather. He’s coming off the Super Bowl game a month ago, and with the amount of carries he had this season (220), as well as the wear and tear the long season took on his body, it’s amazing he did so well. He wasn’t able to train outside for the combine like a lot of kids from other parts of the country.”
For the season, Thomas ended up with 20 touchdowns (16 rushing, 3 receiving, 1 on an INT return). He and senior Alex Moore gave St. John’s an unbeatable 1-2 offensive punch out of the backfield.
His finest performance of the season came in the playoffs against Andover, rushing for over 200 yards total and three scores in the second half to give coach Jim O’Leary his 200th career win.
“Alex is really fast, and I’m not sure what he’s doing in the 40 now, but last summer his best time was 4.49,” Thomas said. “I just might be a little bit quicker than him now.”
Thomas had the best time in a 5-10-5 drill (4.36 seconds), a 31-inch vertical leap and a broad jump of 9 feet 5 inches.
“The one thing I’m going to work on is bench-pressing. I only did seven (at 185 pounds during the Combine), and last summer I was able to do 10,” Thomas said. “I was stronger then, but I wasn’t able to work out as much during the season. But overall, I’m pretty pleased with the results.”