NFL combine, here he comes

In just one year of playing for Eastern Michigan University, Latarrius Thomas racked up 79 tackles (6.5 tpg) along with four quarterback rushes, three pass breakups and one forced fumble.

Today, Thomas is in Indianapolis, Indiana participating in an NFL pre-combine camp at the St. Vincent
Sports Performance Facility.

St. Vincent is an elite training facility that works with athletes on every level, from middle school students to professional athletes and Olympians. They work with athletes in the NFL and NBA, as well as racecar drivers.

Any athlete at St. Vincent is given access to whatever they need. Whether it be training, medical attention, performance psychology or performance nutrition; it can all be found in one facility.

“You hear about it but once you’re here it all sinks in,” Thomas said. “It’s really second to none. Stuff I had never thought about, we’re doing here.”

This year, St. Vincent is working with 15 NFL prospects who are not only working on the seven workouts they will do at the NFL combine, but are also given position training from former players and coaches.

The six-foot-one, 210-pound senior defensive back out of New Smyrna Beach, Florida made a name for
himself as a playmaker and a game-changer for the Eagles. He led the team in solo tackles (42), ranked 29th in the MAC for total tackles and landed a spot on All-MAC third-team defense.

Thomas transferred to EMU from Louisville in January of 2009. While there, he was a freshman starter who ended his career with 43 tackles. He participated in spring practices with EMU in 2009 and 2010, sitting out his first year as a transfer. Thomas started in the first two games of the 2010 season before suffering a season-ending injury.

“It started with Coach [Ron] English. He was the reason I decided to come to EMU from Louisville,” Thomas said. “We had a great relationship; he’s a great coach and a great mentor. Coach Snow also had a great impact on my life. Those are two guys I will never forget.”

Football started for Thomas at the age of seven. Watching his older cousins play and having a father who coached the game were the driving forces behind it. However, he did not start as a defensive player. In fact, he was on the other side of the ball until arriving at Eastern.

“Before coming to EMU and in high school, I was going off of pure athleticism,” Thomas said. “I actually came into college as a wide receiver and I didn’t really know much about defense until Coach Snow started teaching me.”

The 2012 NFL combine will be held Feb. 22-28 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Athletes who attend will perform a series of workouts, the results of which can weigh heavily on a team’s decision in the NFL Draft.

As Thomas continues to take the necessary steps toward reaching the next level of football and his ultimate goal, his passion for the sport is what keeps him going.

“I’m very passionate about football,” Thomas said. “I’m just thankful for the opportunity to fulfill my dreams and the opportunity to compete.”

Stay tuned to easternecho.com for Thomas’ results during the NFL Combine.


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