For the Breaux Bridge native, an offer from LSU was enough to put recruiting on the backburner for good.
“I always wanted to play at LSU,” he said. “Guys from Breaux Bridge have ended up at LSU before, and when they do everyone loves them because they are representing the area. That pulled me in. I want to be close to home and play for Louisiana.”
After being ruled ineligible for his senior season of football, Thomas spent the fall semester dedicating himself in the classroom. Unable to play on Friday nights, Thomas kept in shape through individual workouts.
“Once I realized I was definitely not going to play I started to study more and tried to run every day,” he said. “I ended up doing mostly running exercises and then street ball just to have something competitive going.
“I start track season on Monday, so I’m really excited for that. I will be doing the shotput. Once I am with the team I will be in pretty good shape again. Right now I am carrying about 285, but I definitely don’t look like I weigh that much.”
Thomas spent the weekend in Baton Rouge on his official visit, where he and his family toured the LSU campus and sat down for meetings with the Tigers staff.
Back home from a two-night stay, the Thomas family gave the trip two thumbs up.
“My mom was so worn out that she came home and has been sleeping ever since,” he laughed. “We had a lot of fun. My mom, dad, step mom, aunt and brother all came over. They wanted to get out of Breaux Bridge for a weekend and were all hoping to find out more about what I was getting myself into at LSU, so it was the perfect getaway.
“My parents really liked the academic side of things. I am interested in sports management, and we met with an academic advisor who told me all about their program. I could finish in three years and start working on my masters while I am still playing football. That stood out to us.”
Thomas began the weekend with a reception and dinner on Friday night, where Les Miles and the other official visitors and their families joined him. On Saturday, in between tours of the campus and football facilities, the Thomas family met with Miles and defensive line coach Brick Haley. That night, he rounded the trip out with a night on the town with Ken Adams.
“During the meetings with Miles and Haley we talked a little about where I project. Being that I am at 285 now, there is the option to move me down to defensive tackle. That’s what my guess would be. I just want a shot at the field. Wherever I end up will be fine with me.
“Me and Ken, we had a blast. He introduced me to a lot of the other linemen. He was real down to earth, so I was glad that the coaches matched us up. He told me everything to expect when I come in, and that got me excited about making the move. Coach Haley told me that I better come over there this summer in good shape because the program is no joke. I am on track in the classroom, so I just have to be sure I’m in shape and ready to roll.”