Third-year safety who has started 26 games over the last two years … a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award (nation’s top defensive back) … a consensus first-team All-America selection … posted 143 tackles, (96 solo), eight TFL, 10 INTs, 33 PBU, five forced fumbles and a blocked punt for his career … has returned two of his INTs for TDs … started all 13 games at strong safety in 2009 … a unanimous first-team All-Big 12 selection … compiled 71 tackles, (45 solo), five TFL, 16 PBU and eight INTs (No. 1 on UT’s single-season list) … his 24 passes defended rank first nationally and his eight INTs are tied for second … his two INT returns tied UT’s single-season record … started all 13 games at strong safety in 2008 … named first-team Freshman All-America by College Football News and Sporting News … tabbed honorable mention All-Big 12 … was second on the team with 63 tackles … led the team with 17 PBU (No. 1 on UT’s all-time freshman list) … also tallied two INTs, three TFL, four forced fumbles and a blocked punt … gained valuable experience working at both safety and cornerback as a redshirt in 2007 … was a four-sport letterman and an honor roll student as a prepster … tabbed all-state as a senior … was a three-year starter at DB, RB and WR … also lettered in basketball, baseball and track and field.
SOPHOMORE (2009) Started all 13 games at safety and on special teams … a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award (nation’s top defensive back) … named first-team All-America by the American Footbal Coaches Association, The Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America and Walter Camp Football Foundation … a second-team All-America selection by Sporting News … a unanimous first-team All-Big 12 selection … twice named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week … named the team’s Most Productive Performer three times … helped UT rank eighth nationally in scoring defense (15.2 ppg), third in total defense (251.1 ypg), first in rushing defense (62.2 ypg), 11th in pass efficiency defense (101.3 rating) and 23rd in pass defense (188.9 ypg) … UT also ranked first nationally in INTs (24) and second in forced turnovers (35) … posted 71 tackles, (45 solo), five TFL, 16 PBU and eight INTs (No. 1 on UT’s single-season list) … his 24 passes defended rank first nationally and his eight INT’s is tied for second … his two INT return TDs tied UT’s single-season record … his 149 INT return yards rank second on UT’s single-season list … posted three tackles and two PBU against ULM … registered two tackles and two PBU at Wyoming … notched a team-high 10 tackles, an INT and two PBU against Texas Tech … tallied two INTs and a tackle versus UTEP … earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors … returned an INT 92-yards for a TD (t-No. 2 on UT’s list for longest INT returns) and posted four tackles against Colorado … notched seven tackles, two TFL, an INT, four PBU and a forced fumble versus No. 20 Oklahoma … tabbed Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week … tallied a team-high eight tackles at Missouri … returned an INT 31 yards for a TD and posted two tackles and two PBU at Oklahoma State … posted six tackles versus UCF … recorded five tackles, a TFL and a PBU at Baylor … tallied nine tackles, a TFL, an INT and two PBU versus Kansas … also had a 50-yard punt return against the Jayhawks … registered nine tackles, a TFL and an INT at Texas A&M … notched five tackles and a PBU in the Big 12 Championship game versus No. 21 Nebraska.
REDSHIRT FRESHMAN (2008)
Started all 13 games at safety … also a key contributor on special teams … named first-team Freshman All-America by the Football Writers Association of America, College Football News and The Sporting News … tabbed honorable mention All-Big 12 by The Associated Press and the league’s coaches … named UT’s Most Productive Defensive Performer three times … recorded 72 tackles (51 solo), two INTs, 17 PBU (No. 1 on UT’s all-time freshman list), three TFL, four forced fumbles and a blocked punt … opened his collegiate career by tallying five tackles, two PBU, a forced fumble and a blocked punt against FAU … notched six tackles at UTEP … tallied three tackles versus Rice … recorded four tackles and a PBU against Arkansas … added two tackles and two PBU at Colorado … posted three tackles, two INTs, two PBU and a forced fumble against No. 1 Oklahoma … logged five tackles versus No. 11 Missouri … tallied nine tackles, two PBU, a pressure and a forced fumble against No. 7 Oklahoma State … notched 10 tackles and two PBU at No. 6 Texas Tech … recorded five tackles, three TFL, two PBU, a pressure and a forced fumble versus Baylor … posted five tackles and two PBU at Kansas … added six tackles and a pressure against Texas A&M … logged a team-high nine tackles and two PBU versus No. 10 Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl … redshirted in 2007.
Coached by Dan Hooks at West Orange Stark H.S. … an all-state selection and three-year starter at DB, RB and WR … was a four-sport letterman … recorded 112 career tackles with 11 interceptions, two kickoff return TDs and two punt return TDs … also had 1,850 rushing yards and 2,140 receiving yards in his career … helped his team to a 24-2 record over his final two seasons … tabbed second-team 3A all-state by The Associated Press and third-team all-state by the Texas Sports Writers Association at receiver as a senior … named the district 21-3A MVP … had 42 tackles and five INTs on defense … recorded more than 1,200 all-purpose yards and 25 TDs (13 rushing, 12 receiving) on offense … helped West Orange Stark to an 11-1 record and the 3A regional finals … tabbed second-team 3A all-state by The Associated Press as a junior … rushed for almost 900 yards and 12 TDs with over 300 yards receiving and two TDs … helped West Orange Stark to a 13-1 record in advancing to the 3A state semifinals … also lettered in basketball, baseball and track and field … reached the playoffs in all four sports as a junior … a two-time letterman in basketball who averaged 10 ppg … a two-time letterman in baseball playing centerfield and shortstop and hit over .300 … a three-time letterman in track and field, participating in relays and long jump … part of a 4x200m relay team that reached the state finals as a junior.
Born in Orange, Texas … enrolled in the college of education … a member of the honor roll as a prepster … an active member of his church in which his grandfather, Earl Thomas, is the pastor … was part of a rebuilding project following Hurricane Katrina … involved in school leadership … plays piano in church and played tenor saxophone in the band when he was younger … his uncle, Anthony Thomas, was a linebacker at Stephen F. Austin (1997-99).
The Thomas File
During pregame, I like to: Eat the same thing (pickle and a watermelon slush)
Favorite TV channels: Disney Channel, ESPN
Favorite TV show: Smart Guy
I can’t believe I watch: I Love New York
Favorite movie: Little Giants
Sports hero: Nathan Vasher
Favorite superhero: Superman
Favorite music artist: Musiq Soulchild
Favorite video game: Madden ’07
Favorite cartoon character: Bugs Bunny
Nobody knows I can: Play piano
I came to Texas because: They make you feel really comfortable