Final Year for DT

Santonio Thomas is a senior defensive tackle from Glades Central High School who has played in 25 career games for the Hurricanes. In his final season as a Hurricane he is looking to earn his first start.

Even though it is only April many seniors have already thought about their final season as a Hurricane. Thomas is one of the exceptions.

"I haven't thought about it too much yet. We still have a long ways to go."

The defense has been tenacious this spring especially the defensive line. The defense only returns four starters, but a lot of guys have playing experience.

"Practices have been going pretty good. Everybody is hustling and getting back into the groove from the layoff. We have a lot of the younger guys played a lot last year. We have a good mix with older guys as well. We are having fun."

The defensive line returns eight guys that received playing time a year ago. Coach Larry Coker has praised the line for their performance in the spring. Thomas has been impressive with how the unit has performed as well.

"Everything is going great with the defensive line. We are working on technique, technique, and technique. That is all we are working on right now."

Teraz McCray, Dave Howell, and Vegas Franklin redshirted last season, but have caught the eye of Thomas.

"They are coming along great. I have confidence that they will handle the position and do well."

Last season Thomas sprained his ankle against Virginia Tech and missed the next three games before returning to play against Pittsburgh.

For the year he finished the year with 22 tackles, one sack, and five quarterback hurries.

"I am working on the little things. I want to improve my technique, hand placement, and my steps."

This season Thomas will be in the defensive tackle rotation with Orien Harris and Kareem Brown. Teraz McCray has had a nice spring, but is still behind the other three defensive tackles.

"There are things that we are working on and we are trying to get better at some things."

Christopher Stock is a Staff Columnist for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at

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