Michigan junior Dymonte Thomas gaining comfort in role at safety.

Michigan junior Dymonte Thomas discusses his transition at safety and looks ahead to Saturday's primetime battle with Minnesota.

Dymonte Thomas was a can't miss athlete coming out of the state of Ohio in the class of 2013.

An accomplished baseball player and chiseled defender at Marlington high school, Thomas had five-stars next to his name and phrases "instant impact" being thrown around often prior to heading to Michigan.

The road to an increased and impactful role in the Wolverines' defense has been a treacherous one for Thomas though, on the field at various positions, including special teams in his first two seasons at Michigan.

Part of the reason? The transition from playing close to the line of scrimmage as more of an edge rushing linebacker in high school to now playing 15-yards off the football takes quite a learning curve.

"When I first came in it was hard cause I was so used to playing in the box," Thomas said. "Being a safety you got to stay back, but being a linebacker you've got to go forward so I always wanted to come into the box.

"This year, it's been a really big change for me and I actually like it. It's different because I'm back pedaling a lot and I'm opening up my hips and stuff.

"From taking my hips to being stiff as a linebacker and loosening them up and getting them ready for like a safety, it's been a big jump for me but it allowed me to play faster and keep my aggressiveness too."

Now firmly entrenched at one position for the Wolverines, Thomas believes that's been the biggest reason for his success this season. Rotating from corner to one safety spot to the other safety spot to outside linebacker, nickel and more, Thomas has found a home under defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin.

"I've been everywhere," Thomas said with a smile. "It just allowed me to get physical and understand the playbook more, and really be grateful when you get to stay at one position."

Thomas has just four tackles in five appearances this season, also notching three pass break-ups, good for third best on the team.

The 6-foot-2, 191-pound junior can see a huge difference in his development, solely responsible for learning one spot.

"It's great cause it allows you to work on your game," Thomas said. "That's when you're able to find a weakness in your spot and you just work on that position and work on your weaknesses.

"I really like being in one spot cause then I can focus all my time on that spot so I can be the best I can be."


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