Weight: 187 lbs.
High school: Alliance (OH) Marlington
Position: Defensive back
Jersey number: #25
Last year: Thomas was a senior in high school. I gave him a TTB Rating of 89.
Thomas committed to Michigan in September 2011, during his junior season. That year he shared carries in the backfield with a Tennessee-bound running back, but it was Thomas's show as a senior; he was the go-to runner and basically played middle linebacker on defense, where he was allowed to roam from sideline to sideline. Thomas was selected for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl for his athletic exploits. There were some early concerns during the bowl practices because they were using him as a safety, where he didn't have much experience. But the coaching staff and observers were impressed with how quickly he picked up some nuances of the safety position. In the game itself, he showed good closing speed and hitting ability, but he wasn't tested much in coverage. Thomas left the game and went straight to Michigan to enroll early, where he seems to have latched onto the starting nickel corner gig.
This spring Thomas took most of the snaps at slot corner, and previous starter Courtney Avery bumped outside to back up the starting corners. The freshman should eventually end up playing strong safety, perhaps when fifth year senior Thomas Gordon graduates, but in the meantime, the coaches want to get him on the field. While he should play a significant number of snaps if he holds onto the nickel job, his value drops a little bit because there's a two-year starter in Avery who could easily slide back into the slot. Hopefully, Thomas can be physical, blitz a little off the edge, cover a little bit, and play almost like a coverage linebacker.
Prediction: "Starting" slot corner; 25 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception