The state of Florida produces some outstanding safeties every year and 2010 will be no different. One safety to keep an eye on is Josh Thomas from Florida State University School in Tallahassee. College programs look for safeties who can be a force in the running game, but have coverage skills against wideouts . Thomas can do both. Thomas is known for bone jarring hits that are worthy of any highlight reel. The 5'11, 180 pounder also plays well in space, largely a product of his game IQ coupled with 4.42 speed. A 33 inch vertical also shows plenty of explosion.
"I see myself as a hard hitting, good coverage safety who uses his head as much as his body to make plays. I feel I can read the play quicker than most and react to what is happening around me," explained Thomas. With a 3.8 GPA off the field, Thomas is a well-rounded prospect who takes care of business inside the classroom.
His high school team has made it to back to back state semi-final games and finished with an 11-2 record this year. Thomas added, "We work hard, we have a lot of quality athletes, and our coaching staff pushes us to be the best that we can be. Hopefully next year we can take it to the next level. We'll be young in spots, but by the end of the year we are going to be a tough team to beat." Brandon Jenkins was a teammate this past season and is committed to FSU, Thomas added, "Jenks is a great person and a role model both on and off the field. He taught us a lot about how to be successful and how to respect the game. He also led by example by giving 110% whether that was in practice or a game."
It is still real early in the recruiting process, but Thomas is hearing from several schools, "South Carolina, South Florida, UAB, and Central Michigan have all been in contact. I am just looking for the school where I can fit in and produce on the field." It was easy to answer my question on who he wants to hear from. "Florida State and Florida. I grew up in Tallahassee, of course I am a Seminole fan. Florida is getting it done on the field and my teammate and good friend Derrick Demps has a cousin over there(freshmen sensation Jeff Demps)." Other schools that interest Thomas are North Carolina, Alabama, Miami, and Georgia.
Thomas had high praise of his teammate Derrick Demps, "He is a wide receiver, we love to go to battle in practice, make each other better. We were friends long ago in grade school, went to different schools, and now are back on the same team. It is great. I don't think I saw a better wide receiver all year than seeing him every day in practice."
The thing that jumps out on film about Thomas is how hard he hits. He really brings the wood. Perhaps that is because of the two players he models his game after, "Major Wright and Bob Sanders. Major because of his physicality and Bob because I am a touch undersized height wise and he has proven that it does not matter." Does he try for the knockout blow? "No, it comes though. I try to make the play, be a sure tackler, it just seems to happen." His highlight film will be up in a few days and everyone can judge for themselves, one of his hits has gotten 411 views on youtube(Josh Thomas + football).
Thomas will hit the camp circuit this summer. He is planning on going to FSU's camp, perhaps North Carolina, and a few others along with some combines. He will be a name that could see itself rise up the recruiting rankings as he gains exposure. He relishes the challenge of going up against top flight competition over the summer, "That is what makes you better. Competition. That is what this game is about, pushing yourself, being the best you can be." One thing is for sure, you don't want to be exposed on a crossing pattern with this guy lurking.......he'll knock you out.