Thomas looking for growth from ‘Noles, ready to come to work

Florida State began the 2021 football season with 18 committed prospects and, after a disappointing 1-4 start, all 18 remain in the class. While nothing is official until December, much of the Seminoles’ unsigned class has been vocal about sticking together, putting more responsibility on themselves to build Florida State back up to the powerhouse the college football world had become accustomed to seeing for decades. 

Defensive tackle prospect Bishop Thomas took official visits to Texas (June 4), Tennessee (June 11) and Florida State (June 25) before committing to the Seminoles during his official visit. Thomas said he just felt a certain energy on his visit and knew Florida State was the place for him. He was last on campus for the season opener vs. Notre Dame.

The Orlando (Fla.) Bishop Moore Catholic standout said he still feels the same energy about Florida State that he felt when he committed over the summer, even after a disappointing start to the season. 

“I feel it because everybody still loves football,” Thomas said late last week. “Nobody is losing their love of the game. They just want to get better. … The only thing you can do when you’re at the bottom is just go up.” 

Thomas described what he has seen on the field so far this season and what he is hoping to see from this point forward.

“I’m just hoping I see growth,” said Thomas. “As of right now, we aren’t consistent with anything and we’re still no good. We just mess up for some reason, I don’t know. But from the D-line perspective, I see flaws, but I really don’t see anything that bad.”

He was hoping to see more out of the team at this point, but is there a record Florida State could have this season that Thomas feels would force him to look elsewhere? 

“I don’t care (about the record),” said Thomas. “I committed for myself, and I know what I can do and bring to the table, so me decommitting is decommitting on myself. I told them once I’m committed anywhere then I am committed, so all I can do is wait. I’m just waiting so I can build up with the team and really, at this point, just prove everybody wrong.” 

Thomas said he will likely visit Tallahassee for another game this season and made it clear that Florida State is his only desired destination in his recruitment process. 

“Tallahassee is the only place I’m going,” said Thomas. 

Thomas also revealed that a coach at Tennessee called him after the Seminoles’ poor start, but he did not pick up the phone. 

Thomas said he speaks to all the FSU coaches from time to time, but he shares a powerful bond with defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins above all.

“He’s like my father figure,” said Thomas. “He keeps my head on straight and makes sure I’m not doing anything foolish. He makes sure I’m keeping up with my work. Sometimes we don’t even talk about football, we’ll just talk about life.”

Thomas summarized the message the Florida State staff has continually relayed to him. 

“I better be coming in, and when I come in, I better be ready to work,” Thomas said.