The“ Black Mamba” and no I am not talking about Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers, I’m talking about arguably one of the most exciting players in all of college football and his name is De’ Anthony Thomas of the #3 ranked Oregon Ducks. What is a “Black Mamba”and whats the significance of this nickname? By definition a black mamba is “A highly venomous, slender, olive-brown to dark gray snake that moves with great speed and agility. Native to eastern and southern Africa, it is the largest poisonous snake on the continent”
A Little Glimpse if you haven't seen him play before...Now back to the story...
These characteristics and attributes applied to Thomas his entire life, a native of Crenshaw California Thomas used his mental and physical abilities to stray away from the temptations of the gang affiliated area where he was raised. At the age of 12 Thomas played for the Crenshaw Bears in Snoop Dogg’s youth football league, it was there where it was said the story of the “Black Mamba” begun. A human joystick zig zagging through defenders, breaking ankles whit his peers seeming to have an ice cubes chance in a sauna to bring him down or even contain him. The D O double G aka Snoop Dogg credits himself for giving him the nickname while announcing one of his games but Sports Illustrated reported that is was actually another coach in the league who originally anointed him the “Black Mamba”. I would tend to believe it was the quick witted rapper who came up with the name but that’s another argument. Thomas actually prefers it spelled “Momba” which is the solo difference between him and Bryant’s spelling of the nickname. Nevertheless, both of these athletes are game breakers and game changers, and even though Thomas received the name first, I don’t think he has a problem sharing it with one of the greatest athlete’s in his own respective sport. Standing merely 5’9 and 175lbs soaking wet Thomas is a threat to strike and go the distance each and every time he touches the ball. With his fastest 40 time being clocked at a 4.2,5 his lightning speed and ability lead him to being the number 1 recruit in the class of 2011, a year where he led Crenshaw High to its second of consecutive city championships. At the next level there hasn’t been a drop off, since he chose to attend the University of Oregon over the closer to hometown USC. Think about these stats for a second, as a true freshman at Oregon he racked up 2,235 all-purpose yards, if that isn’t eye popping he added 18 touchdowns which set the school record for the number of touchdowns by a true freshman. For a kid in his first year with all the hype and expectations to have an impact right out the gate with the number of options Oregon has at its disposal year in and out is needless to say, impressive. In a recent interview on ESPN Thomas considers his role with the Ducks similar to the NBA’s James Harden of the Oklahoma City Thunder, a 6th man who comes off the bench to provide a spark, and more times then not that spark leads to an outright fire that the defense can’t put out. Thomas who you will not see on the field every snap has a role which would very accurately be defined as such a comparison, a spark in the offense who takes advantage of his opportunities, and boy does he. Oregon takes on Pac-12 rival Arizona St. who is also undefeated in the conference at 3-0 and 6-1 overall. Oregon has had their number as of recent but they may pose some challenges for the Ducks as they have proven to be solid and maybe somewhat underrated on both sides of the ball in the early season, if not for their one loss coming in a close game against Missouri. Will this be an early statement game in the Pac-12 where the Ducks prove are fore real? Or will this be that one trap game which cut short another perfect season for the team with the best uniforms in all of college football. I will tell you one thing when #6 is on the field, make sure you don’t blink because you might miss the “Black Momba” strike.
Enjoy some more highlights #3 Oregon vs Arizona St. 9:00 pm ESPN