Next up in our “Meet the Freshman” series is safety turned outside linebacker and Thomasville native Charlie Thomas.
Before enrolling at Georgia Tech for this upcoming season, Charlie Thomas was one of the best safeties in the state of Georgia during the 2018 recruiting cycle and one of the top-50 safeties in the entire country.
While the Georgia Tech football team could use all the help in the secondary this season, they decided to move early enrollee Charlie Thomas to outside linebacker. At 6-foot-2 and 190-pounds, Thomas still needs to add some weight but carries over various traits from the safety position that will make him a successful linebacker.
According to all reports, Thomas was highly impressive this past spring at outside linebacker and could possibly play his way into the linebacker rotation this fall.
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As stated above, Thomas was one of the best safties in the Peach State and among the best safties in the country which made him a well wanted prospect. Throughout his recruitment, he had 18 known offers from a wide range of schools including offers from Auburn, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss.
Throughout his recruitment it appeared that the Yellow Jackets were in strong position for the Thomasville native. Thomas didn’t let the recruiting process play out too long as he ended his recruitment in early June last year when he committed to the Yellow Jackets, becoming one of the first commitments in the 2018 recruiting class. His commitment to the Yellow Jackets never wavered as he stayed 100% committed aftr his commitment despite having the option to look at other programs.
What to Expect in 2018:
In 2018, Thomas’s playing time is going to develop on his development at outside linebacker. The Thomasville native was impressive in the spring but will have to continue to being impressive next month if he hopes to crack the linebacker rotation.
With linebackers being a huge part of Nate Woody’s 3-4 defense, the Jackets will be looking for players who can be consistent in fundamentals and players who can be counted onto make big plays when needed. While Thomas will have to wait to see the field to prove he can make big plays, he will be able to prove his ability to have consistent fundamentals next month in camp.
For Thomas, the ceiling is pretty high when factoring in the traits he has and how they translate to outside linebacker. That being said, the floor can also be pretty low for Thomas. While outside linebacker isn’t completely foreign to Thomas and he does have experience at the position, it will be interesting to see how he does at the position full time.
Long term once again depends on how Thomas translates to linebacker full time. If he struggles, the Jackets could move him back to safety or let him go through the growing pains. If is successful though, the Jackets could have a gem in Thomas. He has plenty of athleticism and raw talent, it just depends if he can put it all together.