Ryan Easterling’s Scouting Report
Reminds me of: former TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin. Thomas, like Boykin, came out of high school far better as a runner than as a passer. Thomas possesses great speed (has timed in the low 4.5’s and upper 4.4’s) and can pull away from defenders in the open field.
His passing, though, is still a little raw. Part of his struggles in the passing game during his prep career can be attributed to his receivers not doing their part, but Thomas will need to improve in his ability to time up his throws at the next level. He has moderate arm strength that will likely improve as he adds weight (he’s pretty thin right now). As he gets more comfortable with a more complex college system, he will also need to improve at his ability to zip in crossing routes and find receivers over the middle of the field.
With juniors Chayce Crouch and Dwayne Lawson expected to compete for the job this fall, Thomas will have a year or two to sit and learn -- which is ideal. Thomas is very toolsy. He has great speed, length and solid arm strength. But he has little experience in the pocket because his Marian Catholic team was severely outmanned in the strong East Suburban Catholic Conference. Thomas will get time to learn the offense, add strength and work on mechanics. - Jeremy Werner
Thomas is the first hand-picked quarterback by Garrick McGee, who made a personal visit to Thomas last spring to watch him throw. Thomas also ran two 4.5-second 40-yard dashes at an Illini satellite camp. When he committed, Thomas was an emerging prospect who had growing interest from Minnesota, Indiana and Iowa. The Illini offered and closed quickly. He was the first sign that Illinois was going to transform its offense to center around a more athletic playmaker at quarterback. Thomas likely won’t make an impact until 2019 when he could have a lot more competition as Illinois has its eyes set on adding 2018 in-state quarterbacks Coran Taylor and Quincy Patterson.