Eric Thomas (wide receiver)

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Eric Thomas
Troy wide receiver Eric Thomas grabs a pass in the fourth quarter during a game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., Nov. 3, 2012 121103-A-EO110-043.jpg
Thomas catching a pass against Tennessee in 2012
No. 4 – Green Bay Blizzard
Position: Wide receiver, return specialist
Personal information
Born: (1991-11-11) November 11, 1991 (age 29)
Shreveport, Louisiana
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school: Evangel Christian Academy
(Shreveport, Louisiana)
College: Troy
Undrafted: 2014
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
  • 2010 New Orleans Bowl champion
  • 2011 Second Team All-Sun Belt
  • 2012 All-Sun Belt Honorable Mention
  • 2013 First Team All-Sun Belt
  • Second Team All-IFL, Offense (2018)
  • 3 x IFL player of the Week

Eric L. Thomas Jr. (born November 11, 1991) is an American football player. He is a wide receiver and return specialist for the Green Bay Blizzard of the Indoor Football League, having previously spent 4 seasons with the Nebraska Danger. Prior to his arena football career, Thomas played in both the National Football League and the Canadian Football League.

Contents

College career

Thomas played for the Troy Trojans football team from 2010 to 2013. During those years, the Trojans won the 2010 New Orleans Bowl, and Thomas amassed 2,655 yards on 197 catches; he was only 7 yards shy of a 1,000 yard season in 2013. Furthermore, Thomas became the Sun Belt Conference leader in receiving touchdowns, with 29 during his career. [1] While playing at Troy, Thomas majored in criminal justice. [2]

College statistics

Receiving
YearTeamGPRecYdsAvgTD
2010 Troy 10912013.31
2011 Troy 126787513.19
2012 Troy 125566712.17
2013 Troy 126699315.012
461972,65513.529

Professional career

As the all time Sun Belt Conference leader in receiving touchdowns, Thomas received interest by NFL teams, and was even brought in for a pre-draft visit by the Indianapolis Colts. [3] However, Thomas was not selected in the 2014 NFL Draft.

NFL

Despite going undrafted, the Colts signed Thomas as a priority free agent, including a signing bonus of $6,000. [4] Thomas played in 3 preseason games, catching 2 passes for 18 yards before his release. [5] Thomas was signed to the Colts practice roster later in the year, where he spent two weeks. [6] Thomas was also signed to the Buffalo Bills practice squad in 2014, [7] but was cut after a week in favor of Tobais Palmer. [8]

CFL

Thomas next played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League, signing on for the 2015 season. [9] However, after catching only one pass for 7 yards in the two preseason games, [10] Thomas was released. [11]

IFL

Thomas joined the Cedar Rapids Titans of the Indoor Football League. He spent the first part of 2016 playing with Cedar Rapids and adapting to the rules of arena football, but was released during the season. After his release, Thomas was picked up by the Titans rival, the Nebraska Danger partway through the 2016 season. Thomas's first season in Nebraska saw him play in only 5 regular season games, but was effective in two postseason games, catching 4 touchdowns. The following year, Thomas had increased usage, surpassing 400 yards on the year. Thomas had a breakout year in 2018; he recorded his first 100-yard game in week 3, and was named one of the players of the week after catching 3 touchdowns to help defeat the eventual champion Iowa Barnstormers in week 6. [12] On special teams, Thomas was named player of the week following a week 4 victory after contributing a recovered onside kick into a touchdown return. [13] By the end of the 2018 season, Thomas was named to the 2nd team All IFL Offense. [14] Thomas recorded his second 100-yard receiving game in 2019, and saw an increased usage on special teams; Thomas took over long snapping duties, and a returner he was named special teams player of the week of week 10 in 2019, for two return touchdowns. [15] Thomas led the league in combined return touchdowns for 2019 with 3, and scored his 50th career touchdown on a rush in the regular season finale against the Barnstormers, a victory which sent Thomas and the Danger to the playoffs for the 4th consecutive year. [16] In the playoffs, Thomas caught the lone touchdown pass from quarterback Tommy Armstrong in the first game, an upset of the higher seeded Green Bay Blizzard, but was disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct late in the second game, a loss to the Arizona Rattlers in which Thomas recorded 5 catches, four of which were touchdowns as well as a two-point conversion catch.

Green Bay Blizzard

Following the 2019 season, the Nebraska Danger were put up for sale by their owners, Bosselman Enterprises. [17] Unable to find a buyer in time to qualify for the 2020 IFL season, players became free agents and needed to find new teams. In November 2019, Thomas signed with the Green Bay Blizzard. [18] Hoping to build on a winning 2019 season and their first playoff berth since 2012, Thomas and the Blizzard were denied a chance to play due to the COVID-19 pandemic causing the 2020 IFL season being cancelled. [19]

Professional statistics

IFL regular season

ReceivingRushingKick returnMissed FG return
YearTeamGRecYdsAvgTDAttYdsTDRetYdsTDRetYdsTD
2016 CRT 79788.72381000000
2016 NEB 51212410.31120000000
2017 NEB163741911.3881063243291000
2018 NEB125665811.8163211111381000
2019 NEB144044911.211107722452621581
Totals:541561,72811.1382521475999341581

[20] [21] [22] [23] [24]

IFL playoffs

ReceivingRushingKick returnMissed FG return
YearTeamGRecYdsAvgTDAttYdsTDRetYdsTDRetYdsTD
2016NEB277110.14000000000
2017NEB133311.000002541000
2018NEB111212.00000000000
2019NEB28587.352803990000
Totals:6191749.2928051531000

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References

  1. "Sun Belt Conference Career Leaders and Records for Receiving Touchdowns". College Football at Sports-Reference.com.
  2. "Eric Thomas - Football". Troy University Athletics.
  3. Wells, Brad (April 4, 2014). "Troy WR Eric Thomas to visit Colts". Stampede Blue.
  4. "Eric Thomas". Spotrac.com.
  5. "Eric Thomas Game Stats | NFL.com". nfl.com.
  6. "Eric Thomas signs with Colts". shreveporttimes.com.
  7. "Bills sign WR Eric Thomas to Practice Squad". buffalobills.com.
  8. "WR Tobais Palmer added to Practice Squad". buffalobills.com.
  9. Bale, Kelly (May 16, 2015). "Roughriders Sign Receivers Devin Wilson and Eric Thomas".
  10. "2015-06-13 Game Tracker - Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. Edmonton Eskimos (2176)".
  11. https://leaderpost.com/sports/football/cfl/saskatchewan-roughriders/roughriders-release-sunseri.
  12. Relations, Danger Media. "Thomas earns Danger Player of the Week honors". ksnblocal4.com.
  13. "Eric Thomas, Nebraska Danger, Special Teams Player of the Week". Indoor Football League. March 21, 2018.
  14. "IFL Annnounces 2018 All-IFL Teams". Indoor Football League. June 29, 2018.
  15. "Eric Thomas, Nebraska Danger, Special Teams Player of the Week". Indoor Football League. May 3, 2019.
  16. sports.desk@theindependent.com, The Independent Sports Staff. "Danger rally to defeat Barnstormers, secure playoff bid". The Grand Island Independent.
  17. dale.miller@theindependent.com, Dale Miller. "Bosselman puts the Nebraska Danger up for sale". The Grand Island Independent.
  18. "Tweet". twitter.com. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  19. "IFL Cancels Remaining 2020 Games". Indoor Football League. April 13, 2020.
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