December 12, 2010

Rawls looking hard at CMU

Since recruiting began for Central Michigan under Dan Enos, one name has remained at the top of the recruiting board: Thomas Rawls.

The talented running back from Flint (Mich.) Northern high school was name to The Detroit Free Press Dream Team after rushing for 1,585 yards and 19 touchdowns, and the 5-foot-10 and 215 pound Rawls is ranked as the No. 20 prospect in the state of Michigan. Rawls holds offers from CMU, Toledo and Cincinnati with heavy interest from Michigan and Iowa.

Rawls took a break from football after his season to focus on academics, but with signing day looming and schools lining up to garner his services, he returned his focus to recruiting. His first order of business was to schedule his official visits, and he made his first last weekend when he visited Central Michigan.

"It was good, my host was Deon Butler. He's a real funny and cool dude and I had a great time with him. I visited with my father and we had a chance to see a lot of things, and of course we ate good," laughed Rawls. "But the coaches showed me around the facilities and gave us a tour of the academic portion. I was able to hang out with all the players and they really made it feel like home. You know, Deon is a straight up guy and he was telling me some things that really got my attention and I'll just say this, I don't care how big the program is and I just need to make the best decision that fits me."

While he was able to hang out with some current players on the Chippewas roster, Rawls was also able to hang out with some future Chippewas who joined him on that recruiting weekend.

"They have a real good recruiting class coming in and I was able to hang out with Jason Wilson, Kevin Monangai, Tim Hamilton and of course my man Alex Niznak," laughed Rawls as he began to talk about his relationship with Niznak. "Alex, man he's a great dude, he texts me every weekend and he's always telling me to join him so we can go win some rings. I'm actually going to see him real soon at the Dream Team banquet, so we'll have to see what happens."

And aside from the players and coaches, Central Michigan also has something else that intrigues Rawls.

"I do want to go to a school where I can in and play early, and the coaches at CMU told me I would probably have a good opportunity to come in and start early," added Rawls. "But I'll still have to compete and I don't want anything given to me, and that's one thing I really like about the CMU coaches is I know they're going to challenge me."

With his visit to CMU in the rear view mirror now, Rawls will take a few more visits. He plans on visiting Cincinnati next weekend and then Toledo at some point in time.

"Coach (Steve) Stripling came down from Cincinnati last week and basically told me a lot of the same things, that I'd have a good chance to come in there and start early. But I know they took a running back already, so I guess they're taking two and I don't really know how I feel about that," said Rawls. "I really don't have a close relationship with the coaches at Cincinnati like I do at CMU, I haven't been able to visit much and it really isn't like it is with CMU. With Toledo they told me they're only taking one back, and I guess I'm the guy they want. And I talk with Coach (Fred) Jackson at Michigan, and they're just waiting for my ACT scores, but they have told me I would have a chance to come in and play early also."

And speaking of his ACT score, Rawls recently re-took the test this past weekend and he should have his results within two weeks. As he awaits his test results, Rawls will begin to narrow down his choices and make a decision.

"Like I was telling Coach (Mike) Cummings, I really want to make a decision after a visit or two. It will probably be at the end of the month."

So where does Central Michigan currently stand with Rawls?

"Honestly I haven't really narrowed it down that much yet, but a lot of people already know how I feel about CMU," added Rawls. "They were my first offer and they will always be in my heart because of that, but Central Michigan sits very high with me."

Rawls is rated as one of the top running backs in the Midwest and should he commit to Central Michigan, would be a huge get for Dan Enos and his staff.

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