October 19, 2009

Former signee eager to start his college career

Mike Thomas signed with Ole Miss in February, but there were lingering doubts about his football future.

He spent the summer in Oxford, but after missing his senior season at St. Paul's in Mobile, Ala., due to a back injury, the decision was made for Thomas to spend a semester/season at Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy to make sure he was physically fit to play the game.

Through seven games, Thomas has answered those questions emphatically.

"Everything is going good up here. I'm enjoying it," said Thomas, who said he has seven quarterback sacks so far this season. "I've just been playing. I'm having a good season.

"I kind of look at this year as my senior year. I'm just going out there every game, playing hard and enjoying myself. My back is completely healed. I'm having no problems. I'm enjoying myself. I'm not having to worry about pain or anything else."

Thomas, a 6-foot-4 defensive end, said he's dropped 10-15 pounds off the 265-pound frame he had at Ole Miss this summer. He'll get a chance to show Ole Miss' coaches his new physique sometime in the next few weeks.

"I'm trying to set up an official visit for the LSU game (on Nov. 22 in Oxford)," Thomas said. "I'm trying to get down there so I can spend some time with my family. That'll be the only time I get down there because Hargrave is so far from home."

Thomas is rated by Rivals.com as a three-star prospect. He's ranked as the No. 21 prep school prospect in the nation. Thomas said everything is still on track for him to enroll at Ole Miss in January and go through spring drills with the Rebels.

"I'm still committed to Ole Miss, 100 percent," Thomas said. "I'm expecting to make an impact and make an impression on the coaches from the jump in spring ball.

Thomas said he's been able to watch a pair of the Rebels' games this fall. He saw Ole Miss lose at South Carolina and at home to Alabama. The losses, which eventually knocked Ole Miss out of the national polls, haven't changed Thomas' thoughts regarding the future of the program.

"I've been impressed, even though we lost, especially with the defense," Thomas said. "The defense has played hard and held them. If the offense had come through just a little bit more, we'd have two more wins under our belt. We still have a long season in front of us."

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