Thomas Commits to BYU

Steven Thomas is a 5-foot-11, 180-pound future safety who played linebacker, running back and quarterback for Chino Hills High School in Chino Hills, California. Last season, Thomas helped his school to an 11-0 regular season record.

"BYU is a great school and has everything I want," said Steven Thomas. "I committed to them after my visit there on junior day and I feel great about it. It's a great situation for me as a football player and as a student."

Thomas' mother attended BYU while his father attended Utah. While his parents came from rival universities, there was no question of allegiance in Thomas' mind growing up.

"I've always been a BYU fan," said Thomas. "Playing for BYU is something I've always dreamt about since I was a young kid."

While Thomas may have imagined himself donning Cougar blue, playing football has always been very real to him. He has been on a football field for almost as long as he can remember.

"I started playing tackle football when I was eight years old and I really feel that it's helped me become the player I am," said Thomas. "I believe that I have a great feel for the game, and playing for so long has helped me to develop good instincts."

Thomas was a starter on his high school team since his sophomore year when he recorded four interceptions. Last season Thomas had two interceptions along with 70 tackles as an outside linebacker. His contributions were not limited to the defensive side of the ball, however. Thomas proved his diverse athletic ability by playing a couple positions on offense too.

"I started out playing running back and linebacker," explained Thomas, "but when our starting quarterback got hurt, they put me in to finish out the year. I was sort of an option-type quarterback and feel that I did alright considering that I hadn't practiced the position much."

BYU offered Thomas a scholarship about two months ago. He was recruited primarily by receivers coach Patrick Higgins.

"Coach Higgins is a great guy—very approachable and he knows a lot about football," said Thomas. "He knows what he's talking about."

On Thomas' junior day visit, he was able to meet BYU Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall for the first time and came away very impressed. Thomas felt an connection with Coach Mendenhall that confirmed that BYU was the right place.

"He's very straight-forward and very interested in each and every player," said Thomas of Coach Mendenhall. "He took a great interest in me and told me what his expectations are and what it was like to be a student-athlete at BYU. He just struck me as the coach I needed to play for. It just felt so right listening to him. He's the right coach for me."

Thomas received a lot of interest from Utah. The Utes contacted him quite frequently along with a bevy of other schools who sent letters and questionnaires.

Thomas is LDS and has definite mission plans. He will turn 19 in March of 2008, so he will likely play a year before leaving on his mission.

"BYU is the school that will help prepare me for my mission the best," stated Thomas. "They have great academics and the type of environment that is important to me being LDS. It's a perfect fit for me and I'm just thankful that they extended me the offer. I couldn't be more pleased with my decision. BYU has it all."

Here are some of Thomas' stats from 2005:
- 70 tackles (24 solo, 46 assisted)
- 3 sacks
- 2 interceptions (1 returned for TD)
- 2 blocked punts
- 1 fumble recovery
- 15 touchdowns
- 8 rushing:
  - 5 passing
  - 1 punt return
  - 1 interception return

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