"It's a big change coming out on defense," Thomas said following the first day of fall practice. "I appreciate the opportunity. The coaches put me in the best spot and I want to do anything that I can to help the team. They put me at safety because they think I'll be a better player there, so I'm going to make the best out of it."
While he's still learning the position, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound true freshman had a solid outing on day one, receiving a number of snaps with the veterans during the 7-on-7 period.
"That felt real good," he said. "As a freshman it makes you feel good when you look around and see the guys that you are playing with."
Thomas credits his ability to adapt to the new position to the time he spent this summer working with returning players and many of his fellow newcomers.
"It was great to be able to do that," he explained. "Conditioning was the best thing for me. When I first came up here I'd get tired quickly, but now I can run all day long. It helped me get my mind right and I got into better shape physically."
He was also quick to admit that while his comfort level is improving that he still has plenty of room for growth.
"I'm still learning the defense, but it'll come to me. Right now I'm just trying to get all the teaching that I can get. I don't want to mess up, but it will all work out."