A lot has happened to Dwayne Thomas in the last year that’s tried taking him away from the football field.
First it was a torn ACL he suffered in a mostly meaningless game against New Mexico State that prematurely ended his 2014 season. Then he got arrested in June and charged with simple burglary and unlawful entry of a dwelling. That landed him an indefinite suspension until the East Baton Rouge district attorney declined to file formal charges earlier this month.
He’s back now and ready to put all the recent negatives behind him.
“It’s been good getting that feeling back to make plays and compete,” Thomas said. “It’s just fun. I’m out there doing what I came here to do, live my dream.”
Thomas regrets his role in the incident that also resulted in the arrests of two if his teammates. He was prohibited all summer from participating in team conditioning activities and 7-on-7 scrimmages.
Though Les Miles seemed to always expect Thomas would eventually be reinstated, he now knows too well how fragile his playing career truly is.
“I’m really humble and mature,” Thomas said. “I learned from the mistake I made. I’m just happy to be here. Live and learn from it, and try not to make any mistakes from here on out.”
Thomas isn’t looking at the past though, and that includes the arrest and the injury. He spent all spring in a green jersey as team trainers tried easing him back to game action. He’s shed that color now, and that means one of LSU’s biggest defensive playmakers is back to full-speed.
“I can go out there and tackle guys, make plays,” Thomas said. “I’m just playing normal football again. My teammates are excited to have me out there, and I’m excited to compete and play fast.”
Thomas was a do-everything extra defensive back for LSU last year. He mostly came on the field in nickel and dime situations, tasked both with both pass rushing and coverage.
He’s expecting a similar role in 2015. He’s worked some at outside corner, but most of his playing time will likely come as LSU’s fifth or sixth defensive back.
“I’m just playing anywhere the coaches want me in the defense,” he said. “I’m bouncing around a lot, playing a lot of different positions. That’s fun for me, because I like to be versatile. I’m just trying to play my role.”
Thomas is mostly just happy to have a role after what happened this summer.
“I made a mistake,” Thomas said. “I learned from it, and I’m back out here now.”
LSU DB Dwayne Thomas learned from his mistake
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