June 22, 2010

Flint Northern (MI) back Thomas Rawls rolling into Mount Pleasant this weekend

As Central Michigan fans are well aware by now, Flint Northern (MI) running back Thomas Rawls was one of the first players they offered and a major priority at running back. After rushing for over 1000 yards and tallying over 100 tackles as a junior, the 5-foot-10 and 214 pound Rawls was recently ranked as the No. 14 player in the state of Michigan by Rivals.com and is widely considered one of the top backs in the entire Midwest.

And what makes his ranking ever more amazing is the fact he has only been to one team camp all season, and that was just yesterday at the University of Michigan's camp.

"I just went to the UM camp yesterday," said Rawls. "My coach wanted me to go down there so he talked me into it and I went down there. I really enjoyed myself and thought I had a pretty good workout. It was cool to see all their fields and the coaches, they were very live. They had some good drills to go to and overall, it was just a real live atmosphere at Michigan."

Cincinnati has joined CMU as the only other school to offer Rawls, but a few others are keeping a close eye on the talented back.

"UM, they said they liked what they saw and are interested, and then Iowa and Wisconsin are both waiting on my ACT score. I just took the test again awhile ago, so the results should be in any day now. So, I'm just going to wait and see how I did, but I feel pretty good about it."

What has stayed consistent throughout the entire recruiting process for Rawls however, has been his stance towards CMU.

"CMU, they still stand real good with me," added Rawls. "The coaches just have something about them, it's like a giant spark when I'm around them. They don't ever feed me any nonsense and they show they genuinely care about me in and out of football. I'm actually going to CMU on Friday for their camp, but I'm not going to go through the drills or anything. I have another scrimmage type thing on Thursday, so I'm just getting up real early and going up there Friday morning. It will give my family a chance to meet with some of the coaches, but I will definitely have a pen and paper on me so I can take some notes of their drills and use them for my workouts."

With his two offers, Rawls has been making sure he stays in contact with both the Chippewas and Bearcats.

"CMU, they are in the loop for sure and I always make sure I tell Coach (Dan) Enos, Coach (Kort) Shankweiler and Coach (Terry) Samuels what's going on," said Rawls. "And then with my two offers, I'm interested in both schools so I talk to the coaches at Cincinnati, including Coach (Steve) Stripling, even though I haven't met him yet. I actually might be making a trip to Cincinnati soon so I can meet the coaches a little more."

Two current offers: Central Michigan and Cincinnati. What makes his two offers even more interesting is the recent history between the two programs. After former CMU head coach Brian Kelly bolted for the Notre Dame job earlier this year, the Bearcats once again had their gaze towards Mount Pleasant as they lured then CMU coach Butch Jones to Cincy. In an amusing twist, the current Cincinnati staff who spent three years recruiting potential recruits to Mount Pleasant, is now stuck in a recruiting battle with the new CMU staff, an humorous fact that hasn't been lost on Rawls.

"Yeah, I think about that, how I was offered by CMU first and then Cincinnati offered," added a laughing Rawls. "Really after I got that CMU offer, I was feeling it, but wanted to keep it opened up. Now I think about how the Cincy staff used to be at CMU and the coaches and all, and I'm like 'whoa', they have a connection and it's kind of crazy. But I know when I make my choice it will be the right choice, and I'm still looking at both schools."

Speaking of that choice, Rawls admitted he has set a time inside his head for when he wants to pull the trigger.

"I'm thinking it might be in the middle of my senior season, but it will definitely be before my season is over and likely in the middle somewhere."

Look for more on Rawls very soon.

Stick to ChippewaCountry for the latest in CMU athletics and recruiting.


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