Begin with your year in the program please.
"I'm a true senior. This will be my last year."
Seems like just yesterday you were signing.
"Time flies. It's made me realize just how fast life goes by."
"I have no regrets. None whatsoever. I wouldn't change a thing. I love it here. All my friends are here and I have made a lot of good memories here. I'll always be a Gamecock."
Are you looking forward to the upcoming season?
"Yes sir, I really am. I think we have a lot to look forward to this season."
You have more talent than you have used at times. Some compare your talent and potential to that of Robert Brooks - but it has gone unused. How do you feel about that?
"I mean I am going to try to do what God will let me do this year. I am giving all my power and honor and the grace of God this year - if it's His will, then it will be done. I'm going to do my part. Believe me, I want to live up to my potential too."
You've worked really hard during particular off season.
"I mean to me my senior season is obviously my last year. I wish I had played my other seasons like it was my last year because obviously, now it is my last year and it went by too fast. But I'm definitely going to play this one like it is my last one because it is my last one. I want to continue to try to play football so I gotta do what I gotta do here, to win here, in order to go to the next level. I've learned some things and like I say, I wish I could do it over again and play every season like it is my last year."
Everyone is talking about this "brotherhood" team attitude.
"Yeah, it's like a family here - I mean everybody loves everybody - yeah, it is definitely like a brotherhood. I mean as a senior there is something that happened in my heart and I automatically wanted to take all the receivers under my wing - whatever they need I try to get it for them, whatever questions they have I try to answer it for them. And it's the same with all the other cats on the team - yeah, we're a real family. You can feel it."
... more than in past years? If so, what's different than the past couple of seasons. Be specific please.
"Work habits. Everybody is working hard. Despite the heat, despite the distractions everywhere. Everybody is working hard. And that's what is going to get us over that hump sometime this season. And the reason we are working hard is because everybody is not so much pushing each other as pulling each other. Understand? There's not a lot of people around screaming and saying they are better than everyone else because they are seniors or whatever. Instead everyone is sort of saying to each other, 'This is what we have to do, this is where we want to go. Let's help each other get there.' Now I don't know if that will make sense to everyone but that's the best way I know to put it."
What have you done differently this year to eliminate the dropped balls problem from last season?
"I've been on that jug machine all summer. I've been working on sqeezing the ball in. It doesn't matter. I'm going to catch the good balls, the bad balls the inbetween balls. I'm going to squeeze them in so hard they're going to bust. I'm going to catch anything thrown my way anywhere near me it doesn't matter."
Are you confident in the overall wide receiver corp?
"Our backups are good and our starters are good. Yes, we will definitely be competitive and be able to get the job done this year. What we may lose in numbers we gain in experience and desire."
Is there any difference between the different quarterbacks' delivery or touch of the football?
"They are all different - but that's our job to adjust to the differences."
Talk about Noah Whiteside
"I mean Noah is coming along real good. He's a player, I admire him. I like the way he plays the game, he's a go getter ... that's one of the reasons I admire him. I can't say enough about him. He's coming along real good."
... and Sidney Rice?
"Sidney Rice is a freshman, yeah, I mean he's trying to learn all the plays and learn what to do out there. He's taking to the coaching very well, so that's a plus for him."
What is your height, weight and forty time Matt?
"I'm 6-1 and 189-190. I've got no idea what my forty time is right now because I haven't timed it in so long."
What is your role in the return teams and talk about the other return people as well if you will.
"I'll be returning kick offs this year. Noah and Demetrius will probably return punts and kickoffs too."
You got one of the long ones last year.
"Yes sir, the 98 yarder against Ole Miss. But we need more of the inbetween and short ones this year to go along with the long ones."
If the fans were here to ask you a question, would it be, 'Matt, when are you going to give us your all?'
"Might be. Could be. I mean, I appreciate what the fans are saying about me and I appreciate what they are trying to do for me. And all I can say is that I am going to give it my all. I am going to give it my all. I'm going to leave everything I've got on the field."
That's all they can ask.
An Interview With Matthew Thomas
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