Thomas Finding Patience

Travis Thomas has been a hot name since last fall. The 6-0, 208 pound halfback has been the buzz around campus with his quick feet and nasty disposition. Thomas has been challenging for the starting halfback spot this spring, but Thomas isn't one to be patient.

Take for example when Thomas was being recruited as a senior in high school. He had plenty of offers, but not the one he wanted—Notre Dame. He almost dropped Notre Dame, if not for his Mom helping him to find some patience.

"She definitely kept me positive through the whole process," said Thomas of waiting for the Irish to offer. "She kept me patient. I was a big fan for a while, but I was getting impatient waiting on an offer. She kept telling me to keep patient and see what would happen."

The offer did come for Thomas and he learned a small lesson about being patient. "When that came, I weighed my choices and Notre Dame came out on top," Thomas said. I'm really glad she did that now."

Now the Washington, Pa. native has to be patient waiting for his shot at the starting halfback slot. "It's been a long off-season," Thomas said of the wait. "A lot of work and now it's time to produce and play so I'm definitely ready."

The freshman says he feels he's in the mix already for some playing time. "I definitely feel like I'm competing for playing time. I don't know where I'm at on the depth chart but I've been getting a lot of reps so I'm in the running."

He's also not thrilled with his performance so far this spring. "If I had to give myself a grade--I'm kinda hard on myself--It'd be like a B minus. Just because I'm still learning things, but I feel like I'm progressing every day."

"Learning the passing game better" is what Thomas says he needs to work the most on. "I know they want to use me in that a little bit so if I can execute that better, I'll have a better chance to get on the field.

"It's really complicated, there's so many different formations and shifts. As far as running the routes, that's not a problem for me. It's just learning what to do in different situations."

The good news for Irish fans is Thomas sees a big change in the productivity of the offensive line this spring. "They're just more effective and they're much more physical than they were last year. I know there are a few guys who may be injured, but they're holding up strong and doing well.

"They've open some holes you could drive a truck through. There's a lot more running room this year."

The holes might be bigger, but Thomas says he has to look out for some linebackers once he finds the hole. "I'd have to say Brandon Hoyte," said Thomas when asked which player was the biggest hitter on the defense. "He's a headhunter so I have to give him his props."

We also asked Thomas which young player on defense has impressed him the most this spring. "I'd say Tom Zbikowski. He's really stepping up and playing well at the safety spot."

Although Thomas is said to possess all the tools to be a great one, that doesn't mean he doesn't feel the wrath of his position coach from time to time. "Sometimes I might get a little impatient as far as waiting for a blocker to get out there. He's on me about everything, but that is probably the most."

Thomas wasn't as highly recruited as Reggie Bush, but he's fine with that, and he's ready to show Irish fans what he can do on the field. "I've always loved to be sort of the underdog because there's really no pressure on you. Now it's my time to come out and shine and say ‘eat your words' and that's what I'm trying to do right now."

He just might have to be a little patient before he can do just that. Top Stories