Booker T. star Chad Thomas receives Under Armour All-American jersey



Coach James L. Richardson, also known by his nickname J-Lou, remembers Chad Thomas’ first play as a 12-year-old optimist football player in Miami’s Moore Park.

Thomas, a Miami Booker T. Washington defensive end and University of Miami oral commitment, lined up for a kick return and was the last person off the field after getting the wind knocked out of him from a blind-side, crack-back block.

Richardson and Thomas both agreed that first step was a launching pad for Thomas’ passion for football.

“From that day forward, I was like ain’t nobody going to hit me that hard [again],” Thomas said. “He helped me get better on the optimist level and I felt like I was trying to kill people on that field.”

Added Richardson: “That’s why he is where he is right now.”

Thomas was presented with his Under Armour All-American jersey at his high school Wednesday, accepting an invitation to play in one of the nation’s premier high school football all-star games, to be held Jan. 2 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

“[This is] a blessing that I got today,” Thomas said.

Booker T. coach Tim “Ice” Harris said Thomas’ leadership and effort “in the classroom, weight room, meeting room and on the field” are some of his best qualities as a member of the No. 1 team in the country.

“When you put all those things together, he’s able to be in the position he’s in now as an All-American,” Harris said. “And that’s a special, special position to be in as a student-athlete.”

Thomas said he hasn’t set up an official visit to Miami yet because of his focus on his high school season, but plans to catch a UM home game soon.

Booker T. quarterback Treon Harris and cornerback Lamar Parker also have the honor of playing in All-American games this January. Harris, a Florida State commitment, will play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio on Jan. 4, 2014. Parker, a West Virginia commitment, will play in the U.S. Marine Corps Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl on Jan. 5, 2014, in Carson, Calif.

Thomas said he and Treon Harris “go at it every day” in practice on opposite sides of the ball, while trash talking about the UM-FSU rivalry. Teammates Nigel Bethel (cornerback) and Demetrius Jackson (defensive end) are also UM oral commitments.

“[Treon] be talking about UM and I be talking about Florida State,” Thomas said. “I just tell him, when he gets there, he’s going to have to feel us – Me, Nigel and D-Jack.”

Read more Miami-Dade High Schools stories from the Miami Herald

  • High Schools roundup

    Doctors Charter boys’ track relay teams qualifiy for states

    The Dade Christian boys’ track 4x100 relay team will head to the State Championship for its second year in a row. Abigael Neus, Sam Mompremier, Jeanmaxon Adrien, and Cameron Floyd. Darwin Abreu qualified fourth overall in the mile. The 4x400 relay team, Torrian Wallace, Jovyn Pierre, Andrew Dodds, and Jonathan Gill needed to finish fourth out of 16 teams and run under a 3:42 to qualify for states. Freshman Jonathan Gill lead the team to a time of 3:36, awarding them fourth place to also qualify them for states.

  • State Tennis Championship

    Ransom Everglades’ Allegra Hanlon galls short of state title

    Everything seemed in place for Allegra Hanlon to end her high-school career with one more tennis championship. Then the rains came.

Kristi Isabelle, a home schooled senior representing the South Florida HEAT Team, won the 300m hurdle during the Region 4-1A track meet on Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014, at Killian.

    Track and field

    Westminster’s James achieves rare sprint triple at regionals

    Westminster Academy’s Andrew James showed the Region 4-1A field at Dade Christian why he’s become one of the biggest box office draws in Florida.

Get your Miami Heat Fan Gear!

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category