July 11, 2010

Chippewas looking to add Rawls and Roberts

No longer a sleeper, Flint Northern running back Thomas Rawls is starting to become a very familiar name in recruiting circles. Recently ranked as the No. 14 player in the state of Michigan and one of the top running backs in the Midwest, Rawls has drawn early offers from Central Michigan and Cincinnati. Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin and Western Michigan have all been showing interest in the talented back, and the 5-foot-10 and 215 pound Rawls has just been taking everything in.

Last month Rawls had a chance to visit CMU with his family for the Chippewas camp, and he came away very impressed with the way the coaching staff conducts themselves.

"It was good, I didn't participate in the camp but I went down to just see how the coaches coached and everything," said Rawls. "When I was there for Junior Day, the coaches told everyone that they prefer to interact with players and get them on the field to demonstrate things. I was watching Coach (Kort) Shankweiler run the running back drills and some of the guys weren't doing the drill right, so he hopped out their and demonstrated. I liked that, and I liked how the coaches did everything."

Having his family along also allowed a big part of his life see what Central Michigan had to offer.

"Man, they play a huge role," said Rawls on the role his family will play in his decision. "My father tells me that I'm a big enough man to make my own decision, but really my whole family is so supportive from my mother to my grandmother. They've just talked to me about everything and been right there with me."

Additionally, Central Michigan is also in need of a running back after expected starter Bryan Schroeder left the team for personal reasons back in the spring.

"They have just told me that with Schroeder leaving, we need a back and we want you to be the guy," added Rawls. "Their going to take a back and I'm the guy they want. And I think I fit in their offense well because I'm so versatile. The coaches have talked about using me in the I, the single back and the spread, and I think I can fit in well with any of those."

Rawls was also visiting on a day when CMU received commitments from quarterback Alex Niznak and offensive tackle Ramadan Ahmeti, and Chippewas seven early commitments has definitely peaked the interest of Rawls.

"They have a real good class coming in, I really like Tim Hamilton. We were actually at some camp together, I can't remember which one, but I didn't even know it was him," laughed Rawls. "Then you have Blake Serpa and Ramadan Ahmeti coming in, and I've talked to Niznak a few times. I think CMU has what, seven commitments so far? It just shows the coaching staff is getting it done, and that really impresses me."

Rawls is from Flint Northern, and within the same city is another CMU target in wide receiver Kendrick Roberts. Roberts also has a CMU offer and Rawls let it be known that the two are close friends and both hold the Chippewas in high regard.

"Oh man, we're real cool," said Rawls. "We talk every now and then, and we have both talked about coming to CMU together. I'd be real excited if we played together, he's a great athlete and a real good wide receiver. We've talked about it and everything, but nothing has been decided. Still, it is something we have really thought about and if we both ended up at Central Michigan that would be really cool."

While neither Rawls nor Roberts has made a decision, Rawls informed us that he may move up his decision and make a commitment before the season as opposed to during his season as he had previously mentioned. Might CMU be the destination for this pair of Flintstones? Only time will tell.

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