The Bobcats secured their second verbal commitment for their 2017 class today, as Judson nose guard Darren Thomas announced via Twitter that he has committed to Texas State.
“I know I can have a good relationship with coach (Everett) Withers, the head coach, and coach (Antoine) Smith, the d-line coach,” said Thomas in a phone interview this afternoon. “(Texas State) is close to home. I can visit my family on the weekends and they can come to my games and not have to travel far. I loved the campus when I came to see it this spring. At the spring practice, I just loved the dedication and the passion I saw from the coaches. It reminded me a lot of Judson high school, where I currently play. It’s just a good fit for me.”
“(Withers) is a great coach and you can tell from talking to him that he has passion and an eagerness to coach and make you better. He cares and I like that about him and the rest of the other staff. They are great men and I can’t wait to play for them.”
McNeese State and Lamar also offered Thomas and he had interest from Kansas State, Missouri, Bowling Green and Nebraska. Staying in Texas and close to his family played a major factor in Thomas’ decision.
“For college, I don’t want to go to far,” said Thomas. “Texas State, like I said, is just right down the road. That and I love the staff. I had other schools interest but I didn’t really want to waste their time. Personally, I don’t want to go out of state for college, I want to stay instate. It all just worked out. That’s why I chose Texas State.”
At 6’2”, 270-lbs, the Bobcats will be looking to play Thomas at nose guard in their 3-4 base defense, something he has experience in as that is the same defense played at Judson. Thomas said he also has experience playing tackle in a 4-3.
Based on his Hudl, Thomas has quick hands and shows a knack for standing up his blocker and shedding them to the side. He is quick off the ball and can get to the quarterback on pass plays, but can also take double teams and break up run plays.
“I feel like I’m more of a balanced player, but if I had to be specific, I’d say I’m more of a pass rusher,” said Thomas. “On my highlight tape, I have a lot of sacks. That’s hard to do being a nose guard and dealing with double and triple teams. You don’t see a lot of nose guards getting sacks. That’s kind of my specialty. I just use my quickness and speed off the ball.“
Both of Texas State’s 2017 commits are defensive players, with the Bobcats also receiving a verbal promise from Prosper inside linebacker John Brannon last month. With over 90 offers out and 23 more spots to fill, plenty of Texas State commitments are expected to come this summer. Stay tuned on Bobcats Insider to stay up to date.