Razorback Ready

After signing with Arkansas in 2009 and then having to matriculate to Coffeyville (KN) Community College, defensive tackle Robert Thomas (6-3, 330) says he is all set to enroll in January and go through spring practice with three seasons left to play for the Razorbacks.

It was clear to see while standing on the Arkansas sidelines last Saturday night that Razorback defensive tackle commit Robert Thomas would much rather have been getting ready to play UTEP than looking on at his future teammates.

But his time is coming as Thomas (6-3, 330, 4.9) will finish up his redshirt freshman season Sunday for Coffeyville (KN) Community College and then turn his full attention toward arriving in Fayetteville in January.

"I will for sure be here on campus in January," Thomas said. "I have waited a long time for this and it is finally about to happen. I am so ready to get in that defensive tackle rotation and make some things happen and just play hard every down."

Coffeyville (6-4) won its first six games of the season, but finished with four losses.

Thomas, a former Muskogee (OK) High standout, and the Red Ravens play the College of DuPage (IL) Sunday at 11 a.m. in the Graphic Edge Bowl held at the University of Northern Iowa Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

"We came out hard and I think we really played hard all year long," Thomas said. "We did good, but just had some bad luck down at the end of the season. Now we just want to finish up on a good note."

Thomas was a 2009 Razorback signee, but academics forced him to matriculate to junior college.

He redshirted last season – which means he will have three seasons to play for Arkansas – and earned second-team all-conference honors this season.

Thomas did so by amassing 45 tackles, 15 for lost yardage. He also had 4.5 sacks, forced a fumble and blocked a kick.

"It felt good after not playing a whole year to get back out there and make some things happen," Thomas said. "I think I had a pretty good season. You can't ever be satisfied and I could have done a few things better, but overall I did pretty good."

Perhaps even more impressive than his play on the field was an award he won for his efforts off of it.

He was selected as the Ethean Johnson Memorial Scholarship winner – an award in memory of a former Raven that is presented to a player that has great moral character and exhibits pride in being a Raven.

"I was very honored," Thomas said. "I try to do things the right way."

The Razorbacks' 58-21 win over the Miners was the first game he had got to see live this season, but he has been following his future teammates progress on TV.

"I have been very impressed with what I have seen on TV this season," Thomas said. "I had no idea we were going to be this good, but these guys are the real deal. It gets me even more excited about coming here."

Even though he has remained solidly committed to Arkansas, other schools came sniffing around to see if he would change his mind.

Those included Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

"But I have never thought about being anything but a Razorback," Thomas said. "That is what I am going to be and thankfully I am going to be at Arkansas very, very soon."

Robert Thomas

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