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Former Topeka High superstar Ky Thomas excited to come home

By Rick Peterson

TopSports.news

Some big-name football programs reached out to former Topeka High superstar running back Ky Thomas after he entered the transfer portal following a breakout redshirt freshman season for Minnesota.

But the University of Kansas offered something that other programs couldn't ... a chance to come home.

"It was more about me just wanting to be closer to home,'' Thomas told TopSports.news Tuesday night. "I've got younger brothers and I haven't been able to watch them play. My sister (Tae) committed and I wasn't able to see her sign or go to her games, so I just wanted to be closer to my family.

"I'm a huge family person, so that had a huge impact on me making my decision.''

Ky ThomasKy Thomas

Thomas, a 6-foot, 205-pounder, made the decision to enter the transfer portal shortly after being named the offensive most valuable player in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl and said it didn't take long to realize KU was the place for him, announcing his commitment to the Jayhawks last weekend.

"I had a few schools (contact me) and some of the schools will make you turn your head just because they're the bigger schools and stuff like that, but I felt like at heart after the first few days, I knew where I was headed,'' said Thomas, who ended his high school career at Topeka High as the No. career rusher in Kansas history with 7,703 yards, including 3,009 yards as a senior.

Ky ThomasnewKy Thomas, who ended his career at Topeka High as the No. 2 rusher in Kansas history, is happy to be coming home to Kansas after transferring from Minnesota. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

"I felt like the coaching staff's really what drew me in there, just the love and support they showed when I first entered the portal and then them talking about the whole rebuilding process and seeing how I could fit in and how I could help contribute as they try to make the changes they're trying to make within the program,'' Thomas said.

Having said that, Thomas admitted that it wasn't easy leaving Minnesota, where he got his chance to play after injuries to other Gopher backs and answered the call with a fall that saw him lead Minnesota with 824 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 166 carries.

Thomas capped his Minnesota career with 144 rushing yards and a touchdown on 21 carries in the Gophers' 18-6 win over West Virginia in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl in Phoenix.

"It was a big learning year for me for sure, just being patient and staying ready,'' Thomas said. "You never know when your time is going to be so I felt like it was a huge learning year for me as far as trusting the process and just being ready when it's your time.

"It was a difficult situation for sure (to leave Minnesota), but I felt like it was the decision that I had to make, just for me moving forward and what was best for me at the time.''

Now Thomas, who begins classes at KU Wednesday, is eager for his new beginning with the Jayhawks.

"I'm excited to be in a new environment and learn a lot of new things, meet a lot of new people and buy-in into the culture and help contribute any way that I can,'' Thomas said. "Just being from Kansas and wanting to play for Kansas and wanting to be able to contribute to changing the program around, that's an honor.''