As LSU warmed up before their home opener against Mississippi State, a slew of committed names - all from inside the state’s borders – stood along the north endzone and watched their future coaches and teammates at work.
Johnson, a 6-foot-2, 296-pounder and the nation’s No. 3 defensive tackle prospect, has already made himself a household name across the Southeast.
Thomas, a 6-foot-3, 275-pounder tabbed as the No. 36 defensive tackle, is looking to share some of the spotlight.
“I look at a guy like Anthony and I want to get my game to that level,” Thomas said. “The two of us were talking about stats this weekend and he told me had had something like 22 tackles in one game. I had 54 tackles in all last season, so that’s pretty crazy. That means I have to answer with some big games to make sure I’m holding my end down for this signing class.”
As a result of an off-the-field incident over the summer, Thomas was left uncertain of his status at Breaux Bridge, meaning that the ability to play his senior season of football was in limbo.
In last week’s third game of the season, the situation gained clarity.
“I dressed out, I just didn’t get the chance to get back into game action yet,” Thomas said. “This weekend I will be back and playing, and I am pretty excited about that. We have Cecilia and St. Martinville these next two weeks, and both of those are big rivalry games that we have a shot to win.”
As for his recruitment, the recent trek from Breaux Bridge to Tiger Stadium only solidified the verbal pledge that Thomas handed the LSU staff last April. From the gameday environment to his rapport with the players and coaches, Thomas said that everything makes sense about his decision to sign with the Tigers next February.
“I was so hyped about that game, especially after I got a chance to run into coach Miles,” Thomas said. “We spent time on the field and I hung out a bunch with the other commitments, so everything was perfect. It was nothing but love from everyone.
“I am going to be back there this weekend for the West Virginia game.”
Not surprising, the top moment for Thomas was neither Patrick Peterson nor Morris Claiborne’s two interceptions, but rather the turnover snag from defensive lineman Drake Nevis.
“That interception Drake made was unbelievable,” Thomas said. “I am looking to get those kinds of turnovers. I had one interception last year on a fake kick, but nothing like Drake’s. Maybe when I get over there in purple and gold I can make those same plays.”