SMU gets late add in Thomas

Every year, following spring practices, four-year programs from across the country look to fill in holes in their roster. SMU added a solid component to their rebuilding defense this week when Pima CB Bennie Thomas III (5-10, 183) committed to them on an impromptu official visit. He gave the story about is journey to playing D-1 football and how his visit went...

"I had a lot of fun at SMU on my visit," Thomas told on Friday morning. "It's got great academics and it's in a big city, so when you get a degree from there, you can get a good job right there.

"I committed to coach (Tom) Mason and coach (Jeff) Reinebold and they were really excited. They said they needed me and I can come in and contribute right away."

Thomas had a standout high school career in Florida and he signed a scholarship to play baseball at Florida International, but he redshirted his freshman season.

"It was frustrating and I really didn't enjoy my time there," Thomas said. "I was redshirting and didn't like practicing and stuff and not having a chance to play at all and I really missed football, so I just decided to move on and Pima was the school I felt like I could come in and feel comfortable with so I came here."

In his only season with the Aztecs, Thomas posted 20 tackles and one interception while also recovering a fumble and returning it for a touchdown.

"I also returned kicks and I had a touchdown doing that," Thomas said. "We played mainly cover two and cover three in the early part of the season, but for the last four or five games, we played a lot of man and that is what I really enjoyed doing."

This summer, the talented corner has it in his head to improve in all areas of his game, but he's really focused on two aspects.

"I want to improve my straight-line speed and my upper-body strength," Thomas said. "I'm pretty quick already, but I want to get my forty time down lower. I run a 4.5 now, but I want that to get down to a 4.4 or so."

Besides the offer from SMU, which came about three weeks ago, Thomas was also talking to South Florida and Baylor had also been eying him as well.

"Neither one of them worked out, but SMU is a good fit for me and it's where I want to be," Thomas said. "I'm excited to get up there and start working out with the team and getting myself ready for this season."

Thomas has already signed his scholarship papers and he'll enroll at SMU in three weeks. When he steps on campus he'll have three years to play three.

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