Rutgers saw Thomas' potential shine through in spring practice, just not at the position he was recruited to play.
Spring Performance -- Honored by coach Kyle Flood as the most improved defensive player on the roster, Thomas was the overall star and surprise of spring camp. Thomas played a physical cornerback, made interceptions and in no way looked like a prospect fresh off a position change.
Because of personal performance and injuries, Thomas saw his playing time soar in camp, finishing as a first-team player in the spring game.
Expected 2013 Role -- Thomas will be a key part of the defensive back rotation this season and has the potential to be a starting cornerback. No player had a strong enough spring to lock down a starting cornerback spot, but Thomas and Tejay Johnson both proved they can handle major roles.
Scouting Report -- Thomas brings a lot of the attributes Rutgers holds dear at the cornerback position. He is tall, physical and plays with an attitude. Thomas is strong and aggressive at the line of scrimmage and has no issues with making hits.
A former wide receiver, the ball skills are more than there when it comes to competing for passes. General athleticism is not a concern.
Thomas can improve at the line of scrimmage against the run, something cornerbacks like Ryan did for a living with Rutgers. Still inexperienced at the position, the focus for Thomas in camp is improving his footwork and hips in coverage. The best cornerbacks in the Rutgers system have all had multiple years to develop. Thomas will not get that luxury after losing six DBs from the 2012 roster.
The Bottom Line -- Thomas is too early in his development for high expectations, but a standout spring has him in position for a bright future.