Damarcus Thomas Returns, On a Mission

Damarcus Thomas remembers this time last year like it was yesterday. It was during two-a-days in early August that the freshman linebacker's career almost ended when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament.

But Thomas stayed strong throughout the injury and the healing process of ACL reconstruction surgery. And now that he has been given the opportunity to make his return to the football field, he is very grateful.

"I sat out last year and was very depressed," Thomas said after practice this week. "So coming back this year, I am happy and feel better as a person and as a player."

"I am just so happy about coming to be a part of this team and earning the right to be called a football player for Marshall. My pride is exceeded."

Thomas credits much of the success of his return to Marshall's staff and his teammates that he said were there for him when he needed them. "I am just thankful that the trainers worked with me, and the coaches and players worked with me while I was down. It's just good to be back."

His on-the-field success last season before the injury has inside linebackers coach Mark Gale excited about his return. "He is a young man who, if he had not of hurt his knee last August in two-a-days, probably would have played quite a bit as a true freshman last year," Gale said. "The great thing is that he was able to get the knee fixed.

"The doctors weren't quite ready to turn him loose in the spring, but he was able to get a lot of other things done in the spring and I expect Damarcus to pick up where he was at last August."

Thomas feels that once he shakes off the rust, he will be back to that form. "The biggest thing for me right now is just getting my legs back," Thomas said. "Getting comfortable again, cutting, and making certain moves."

Thomas joined the Herd in 2001 out of Cedar Grove High School in Lithonia, Ga. There he was a four-year letter winner in football and was All-County and Defensive Player of the Month for September. He also earned his team's offensive and defensive player of the year award.

The joy of coming back to the field excites Thomas because he wants to be a factor in the main reason he chose to come to Marshall. Which he simply explains as being, "Championships baby, championships, championships, championships, championships."

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