Texas star already with Husker offer

There's little doubt that a number of players will come out of the 2006 U.S. Army Junior All-American Combine with a lot more attention than they went into the event with. There are some, though, whose stock is already pretty high. Curtis Thomas, a safety out of Houston, Texas is already sitting on one offer, but he's coming in to see if he can get some more. As he said, this event is about finding out who is the best.

As a multi-position standout for the Aldine Mustangs in Houston Texas, Curtis Thomas knows what it's like to face great competition. Throughout the entire Houston area, there are a variety of schools, sporting prep-stars at every position.

It's never enough competition for Thomas, though, which is why he came to the 2006 U.S. Army Junior All-American Combine. He wants to see just how he stacks up.

On the field during the two-day combine, Thomas had good results. Standing at about 6 foot, 1 inches tall and weighing in around 200 pounds, Curtis has a solid physical frame, but is surprisingly good in man-coverage, versus much quicker wide receivers. He's got decent speed, running a 4.5/40 at the combine, and showed good closing speed on ball-carriers.

That's all well and good, but Curtis adds to that something that he thinks is imperative if you want to go from being just any old defensive player to someone that people have to take into account.


"That ball isn't his, it's mine," Thomas said of what he thinks when seeing a ball carrier in the open-field that doesn't see him coming. "I'm like the mouse trying to get back home. Every time I see the ball, that's my cheese – I just go get it."

Thomas had some pretty good luck doing that and while playing multiple positions. Playing both corner and safety, Thomas racked up 78 tackles, a whooping 25 of those for loss. In addition, Curtis forced four fumbles, recovered two and totaled three interceptions on the season.

Curtis also attributes his passion for the game to this uncle. Juqua Thomas, currently with the Philadelphia Eagles, formerly of Oklahoma State, inspired Thomas to not just participate in the game of football, but to take it by the horns. That's something he believes he does every single day. "I've been loving it since he got drafted," Thomas said. "I'm just an enthusiastic player (and) I just love staying on the field."

That would explain the positions Thomas has played, adding punt return, kickoff return and quarterback to the positions already named.

It's not surprising then, that someone with his versatility and athleticism has received letters from schools all over the country, including Kansas State, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Colorado, Florida and LSU, just to name a few.

Thomas can even add one written offer to that group, this one coming from the University of Nebraska – a school that Thomas admitted that he didn't know a lot about until the offer arrived. "I didn't know anything about them and I didn't even know I was going to get the offer, because I hadn't even received a letter from them," he said.

He's gotten to know a lot more about them since.

"I've learned that they have an excellent program and a good defensive back coach," Thomas said of the Huskers. "They have good technique, good speed and they are just a school of business and hard work."

The offer is nice, but considering what state Curtis lives in, the common belief would be that if that school over there in Austin offers, it's all over but the crying for every other school trying to get him. And now that the Texas Longhorns have won a national title, their first in over 30 years, that makes them seemingly a shoo-in for every in-state player they want.

Thomas didn't agree, but didn't disagree either. "Well, they are one of my top five, but it goes to who offers the best," he said. "That's what I am going to lead my heart to."

Another school finds itself in the mix, this one stemming from his childhood. "When I was nine years old, I played for the Garden City Gators, so Florida has always been kind of my dream school," Curtis said. "(Garden City) Was my first team I ever one a championship on."

It is all about titles for Thomas. He likes the big numbers and enjoys the individual side of the game, but he's only got one thing in mind when he hits the field. That will be a huge motivator for him in deciding which college he wants to attend, accompanied by facilities, coaching and, of course, academics.

It's all about winning, though, because as Curtis thinks about his senior season, that's all he wants to do, because there's no other way to go out. "My number one goal is to win state – to play as a team," Curtis said. "Team unity (comes) first."

"We have to win state. If you win state, you get to go out with a blast."

If that does happen, Curtis is hoping that he can throw one more trophy on the dresser and it's one that was inspired by the combine he attended this last weekend. "I want to come to this All-American Bowl," Thomas said of making the 2007 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. "I'm determined (to do it). I'm motivated and I have a lot of people backing me up that believe I can do it."

"It's my dream, it's my goal – I'm going to achieve it."

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