Devonte Thomas on the Rise

Every year in Texas high school football there are two or three small town players that are recruited by major programs from the region. In the 2011 class, it appears that West Sabine's Devonte Thomas may be the one. Burnt Orange Beat visited the small East Texas town and spoke with Thomas.

Devonte Thomas, a 6-3.5, 180-pounder with 4.54 speed (hand timed), lined up at quarterback as a sophomore in 2008 for the Tigers mixing impressive playmaking ability as a player with inexperience for a young team that also includes another sophomore D-I prospect in OLB/RB Chris Williams (6-2.5, 209, 4.7).

West Sabine head coach T.D. Stark says his star pupil is blessed with a lot of ability and needs only to put in the work to maximize his ability to be highly recruited prospect.

"Devonte has a lot of potential," Stark said. "You know, it's on him to bring that out through hard work and experience. His problem last year was experience. He's determined though and has been working very hard since basketball season ended,"

In 2009, Thomas will make the position switch from quarterback to receiver after another player transferred in at the quarterback position. Coach Stark is excited about the chance to play Thomas at his natural position as well as free safety for longer stretches.

"He's been working at receiver more. He's got the hands. If the ball is around him, he's going to catch it and he can go up in the air and catch it." Stark said.

Thomas, who will compete on relay teams at the 1A region III meet in May, has caught the eye of the areas smaller programs such as Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin and others, but it's the early interest from the Texas Longhorns that has everyone in Pineland's attention. In April, Thomas was invited and attended the Texas spring game.

"I enjoyed it," said Thomas, who seems very surprised by the early interest from the Longhorns.. "It was really nice. I went with my daddy. We got there about 12pm the night before. We sat up and talked half the night. He was telling me to watch every position because there are no permanent positions. He said learn as much as you can. I watched all of the positions, but I did focus on the quarterback, how he handled the position. He was smooth. I met Mack Brown and talked with him a little and that was nice."

When asked about other schools, Thomas was quick to point out that Texas has long been his favorite.

"I'm not sure if any other schools know about me, but the Longhorns have always been my number one choice. I will consider everybody, but I like the Longhorns," Thomas said, who will camp at Texas in June.

Coming off of a disappointing 2-6 season in a tough 19-1A district that features Teneha and Mt. Enterprise, Thomas has a lone goal for his junior season which doesn't include a single accolade.

"Our goal is to work hard and be the best we can be. That's the only goal we have," Thomas said.

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