A top-10 receiver in Texas and the No. 61 receiver nationally out of perennial DFW-area power DeSoto, Kevin Thomas held Power 5 offers from Clemson, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Nebraska, Wake Forest and Wisconsin. Originally a Kansas commit, Thomas flipped to SMU 10 days before signing day, solidifying a very good group of wide receivers in Chad Morris’ first class at SMU.
As a true freshman, Thomas played in all 12 games, starting twice. He had 14 catches for 194 yards and a touchdown. Thomas flashed his ball skills and blocking, but a lack of consistent focus hurt him. He had some missed assignments and bad routes that set him back. He was suspended for a week in the spring for a violation of team rules.
The SMU coaches are still extremely high on the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Thomas despite the inconsistent freshman season and the suspension in the spring. At a spring press conference, Morris said he was as talented as any other SMU offensive player. To capitalize on his talent and take a sophomore leap, Thomas needs to be more consistent as a route runner and more focused overall. Fewer missed assignments will keep him on the field more.
Thomas is physically gifted and possesses good ball skills, but has to improve his separation instead of relying too heavily on his ball skills. He can play both outside receiver spots and is still as good a blocker as any other SMU receiver. With SMU’s talented young group of receivers all fighting for snaps, Thomas has to impress in fall camp to solidify a role. He has to show he’s attentive and more focused. A strong fall camp should give Thomas a starting receiver spot, likely at the 2-man spot opposite Courtland Sutton. His raw talent alone justifies him as a starter. If he is inconsistent and not focused in fall camp, he risks falling behind fellow young receivers Xavier Castille, James Proche, Alex Honey and Brandon Benson, plus senior Shelby Walker, in the rotation.