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If you’re tempted to criticize DAT’s decision, check yourself, and check this out

A few Duck fans have been trashing De'Anthony Thomas since his announcement to turn pro.

It's important to remember "Once a Duck, Always a Duck." Jonathan Stewart, LaMichael James, Jairus Byrd and Haloti Ngata all left early, and like Thomas, they had great Duck careers and have brought credit to Oregon as professionals, generous in their support of the program since moving on. James attended the spring game last April. Stewart donated $250,000 for the running backs squad room in the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex. They've filmed public service spots and represented the program at the next level (photo KEZI-9 Sports).

Having players have success as pros is ultimately good for the program and recruiting. And no one should fault a young man for pursuing a dream he's had since Pop Warner.

In addition, Thomas made a special connection to the Eugene community. He was a radiant light working with kids. Before you criticize his motives or intentions, take a second look at this video from last season.

After he's done playing, DAT has a bright future working with kids, running a youth program, a YMCA, coaching, or in community outreach. From Erik Elkins of KEZI Channel 9:

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