Returns for his final season as one of the leaders on the defense … third-year starter at weak-side linebacker … a defensive playmaker who is excellent in coverage and also in space … All-America candidate … athletic and instinctive defender … good speed and can blitz well … named all-BIG EAST preseason first team by Phil Steele’s, Yahoo! Sports, Sporting News and Athlon Sports … second-generation WVU and all-BIG EAST linebacker (father, J.T., was linebacker at WVU in 1994-95) … Athletic Director’s Academic Honor Roll ... bowl trips: 2007 Gator, 2008 Fiesta, 2008 Meineke, 2010 Gator.
2009 (r-Jr.): Started all 13 games … selected first-team all-BIG EAST performer last season by the league coaches and rivals.com … awarded the Gridiron Gladiator Award by the WVU coaching staff … tied for No. 14 in the BIG EAST in passes defended (7) and tied for No. 20 in tackles (76) … WVU Defensive Champion: Liberty, Syracuse … used on more than 760 plays, including a season-high 78 against UConn … saw action on 50 or more plays in 11 games … second-leading tackler on the team with 76 total tackles, including assisting on a sack, seven tackles for loss, two interceptions, five pass breakups and a fumble recovery … posted five or more tackles in nine games … collected five tackles against Florida State in the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl … finished with seven tackles and collected his second interception at Rutgers … posted four tackles, including three solo stops and two tackles for loss against Pitt … registered seven tackles, including four solo stops and assisted on a two-yard tackle for loss at Cincinnati … collected seven tackles, including five unassisted, and a pass breakup against Louisville … seven tackles at USF … finished with four tackles against UConn … had three tackles, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup against Marshall … finished with four tackles at Syracuse … posted six tackles and his first interception of the season against Colorado … team-high nine tackles, including five solo stops, one tackle for loss and a pass breakup at Auburn … finished with six tackles, including three solo stops, a tackle for loss and a pass breakup against East Carolina … led WVU in tackles with seven, including four unassisted, 2.5 tackles for loss, assisted on a sack and had a pass breakup against Liberty … selected an “Iron Mountaineer” for the second year by his teammates because of his hard work and dedication during the offseason lifting and conditioning program.
2008 (r-So.): Started all 13 games … awarded the Whitey Gwynne Award by the coaching staff … WVU Defensive Champion: Auburn, Connecticut … used on more than 750 plays, including a season-high 74 against Syracuse … saw action in 50 or more plays in 13 games, 60 or more plays nine times and 70 or more twice … fourth-leading tackler on the team with 65 tackles, including a team-high 10 tackles for loss, three sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery three pass breakups and a blocked punt … double-figure tackles twice … season-high 11 tackles, assisted on a sack and 2.5 tackles for loss against Cincinnati … 10 tackles, including a tackle for loss at East Carolina … eight tackles, including a tackle for loss and a pass breakup against Auburn … seven tackles, including a six-yard sack against USF … seven tackles, including two for loss at Pitt … five tackles against Syracuse … three tackles and a forced fumble against Marshall … three tackles and a forced fumble at Connecticut … two tackles at Louisville … had a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery against North Carolina in the Meineke Car Care Bowl … 2008 Iron Mountaineer Award.
2007 (So.): Saw action in 10 games … tallied 19 tackles, including 13 solo stops, three tackles for loss and a pass breakup … used on more than 125 plays, including a season-high 25 against Louisville … saw action in 22 plays against Connecticut and 20 against Rutgers … season-high six tackles, including four solo stops and a tackles for loss against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl … Hammer Award: Rutgers … two assisted tackles against Western Michigan … three tackles, including one for loss and a pass breakup against Louisville … three tackles at Cincinnati … two solo tackles, including one for loss against Pitt …solo tackles against Mississippi State, Rutgers and Connecticut.
2006 (Fr.): Awarded a medical redshirt after a lingering ankle sprain kept him out of action ... won the 2006 Danny Van Etten Award from WVU coaches as the scout team player of the year on defense ... scout team champion: Cincinnati.
Prep: Helped Blanche Ely High to the Florida semifinals ... first team all-Broward for Coach Greg McGirt ... team captain for the 10-3 district champions ... finished with 89 tackles, 53 solo tackles, five sacks, three interceptions, three forced fumbles as a senior ... team’s defensive most valuable player … BCAA/Sun-Sentinel All-Star Game … Florida Top 100 players by rivals.com.
Personal: Birthday is Aug. 15 ... son of J.T. Thomas and Andrea Blanks ... father was a Mountaineer linebacker in 1994-95 ... majoring in multidisciplinary studies.