Spartan Digest Breakdown: Lawrence Thomas

The 2010 season will be the final year Greg Jones wears the Green & White. While Spartan fans are excited about Jones return, they also know someone will have to step up and fight for early playing time once he leaves. Lawrence Thomas looks to fill the role and Spartan Digest provides this breakdown of Thomas.

With a Scout.com ranking as the number one middle linebacker, Lawrence Thomas has seen a lot of eyes keeping a watch on his playing ability. With offers from many of the top programs across the country, Thomas staying in Michigan and giving his verbal pledge to Mark Dantonio is a major boost to the Spartans program in many ways.

But Thomas is more than just a player with a high ranking. He's a player capable of bringing in more high level players giving the Spartans a chance to build one of the top recruiting classes in recent years. But what makes Thomas valuable as a player? We break it down.

What To Like: When watching Thomas on film you see quickly that he's got great instincts. His ability to react on the move and adjust both pre and post snap gives him a great advantage of getting a major jump off the ball. Thomas shows above average speed and the ability to avoid blockers when he looks to blitz. Much like the Spartans use Greg Jones, Thomas is capable of coming off the edge or from the middle. Long and lean, Thomas is built different than Jones and this makes him more of a challenge as quarterbacks will have to throw over him as he fills passing lanes. A snap tackler, Thomas does a good job of wrapping and doesn't get caught up by trash clogging up paths to make a tackle.

What May Be A Concern: The biggest thing to watch is how Thomas responds to all the attention once he arrives on campus. Much will be expected of him and how he responds will determine if he'll get early playing time or needs to take a step back.

Overall: Lawrence Thomas may not know it yet but he's a major part of the future of the Spartans program in many ways. The time is right for Michigan State to take a major step forward towards winning Big Ten Championships and playing in a BCS game. Players win games and those with the ability of Thomas go a long way in achieving the goals Mark Dantonio has placed on the program. The Class of 2010 took a major step forward to these goals, and with Thomas and other possible major prospects looking to make their college home in East Lansing the future is very bright.

If you've not checked out the highlights of Thomas in action, here is one from his junior season.


Spartan Digest Top Stories

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But Thomas is more than just a player with a high ranking. He's a player capable of bringing in more high level players giving the Spartans a chance to build one of the top recruiting classes in recent years. But what makes Thomas valuable as a player? We break it down.

When watching Thomas on film you see quickly that he's got great instincts. His ability to react on the move and adjust both pre and post snap gives him a great advantage of getting a major jump off the ball. Thomas shows above average speed and the ability to avoid blockers when he looks to blitz. Much like the Spartans use Greg Jones, Thomas is capable of coming off the edge or from the middle. Long and lean, Thomas is built different than Jones and this makes him more of a challenge as quarterbacks will have to throw over him as he fills passing lanes. A snap tackler, Thomas does a good job of wrapping and doesn't get caught up by trash clogging up paths to make a tackle.

The biggest thing to watch is how Thomas responds to all the attention once he arrives on campus. Much will be expected of him and how he responds will determine if he'll get early playing time or needs to take a step back.

Lawrence Thomas may not know it yet but he's a major part of the future of the Spartans program in many ways. The time is right for Michigan State to take a major step forward towards winning Big Ten Championships and playing in a BCS game. Players win games and those with the ability of Thomas go a long way in achieving the goals Mark Dantonio has placed on the program. The Class of 2010 took a major step forward to these goals, and with Thomas and other possible major prospects looking to make their college home in East Lansing the future is very bright.

If you've not checked out the highlights of Thomas in action, here is one from his junior season.

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