The Wolfpacker

March 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 43 of 95

2012 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE committed to Arizona State, but eventu- ally signed with Colorado State. The 6-5, 225-pound signal-caller though he would fin- ish his college career in Fort Collins, Colo., but when head coach Steve Fairchild was fired following a 3-9 season, NC State once again had a chance to land Thomas. The quarterback officially visited NC Q State Jan. 28-29 and decided he wanted to transfer. Vanderbilt and UCLA were two other colleges he considered. Thomas will spend the spring semester working out with quarterback guru George Whitfield in the San Diego area and then make his way to Raleigh for summer school in late May. "NC State was where I wanted to go out of high school," said Thomas, 20. "It just didn't work out. NC State was the place I wanted to go once I de- cided to transfer from CSU. It took a little bit of time because NC State was preparing for their bowl game, but I'm just really happy it worked out to be part of the program. I want to help them get a championship." Thomas was able to see NC State's excit- Pete Thomas Transfers To NC State BY JACEY ZEMBAL Colorado State Quarterback PERFECT TIMING uarterback Pete Thomas had hoped to attend NC State out of high school, but the timing was not right. Thomas originally verbally lor and class of 2012 signee Manny Stocker, who enrolled for the spring semester, for the starting quarterback position in 2013. NCSU landed Brosius after he decommitted from Virginia during Thomas' recruiting cycle. Thomas threw for 4,269 yards in two sea- sons at Colorado State, completing 63.4 per- cent of his passes. He tossed 18 touchdown passes, but also had 21 interceptions. In his first season at CSU, Thomas completed an NCAA freshman-record 64.7 percent of his passes, breaking the mark set by Peyton Manning at Tennessee in 1994. Thomas started all 21 games he played in — he missed the final three games of the 2011 season with a sprained MCL — and had some big games at Colorado State. Christian Oct. 2, 2010, and Boise State Oct. 15, 2011. He completed 17 of 29 passes for 116 yards in a 27-0 loss to TCU, and was 10- of-24 passing for 100 yards with an intercep- tion in a 63-13 loss to Boise State. The experiences gleaned from playing tough completion and 11 road games could prove invaluable to the Wolfpack. Thomas had a 6-15 record as a starter at Colorado State. "It's definitely a plus that I started 21 games, and I wouldn't trade that experience for anything," Thomas said. "The games didn't go as well as I thought, or as my team- mates hoped. "We had a lot of ups and downs the last two years, but in the long run I learned a lot from it, and I have become a better quarter- back mentally. I look forward to bringing that to NC State. It has worked out better for me in the long run." Thomas also learned how to quarterback under duress. He got sacked 71 times the last two years — 44 in 2010 and 27 in 2011 — but also showcased some running abil- ity. He ran for more than 40 yards in seven games and had three rushing touchdowns, all in 2011. "It was a lot of sacks, and some of them "NC State was where I wanted to go out of high school. … I'm just really happy it worked out to be part of the program. I want to help them get a championship." ■ Pete Thomas Thomas connected on 28 of 43 passes for ing 31-24 win over Louisville in the Belk Bowl Dec. 27 in Charlotte, N.C., on televi- sion, and he liked head coach Tom O'Brien and offensive coordinator Dana Bible's of- fense. "I watched the whole bowl game, and it was a great game and a good stepping stone for the offseason," said Thomas. "I was real excited for them. My style fits Coach Bible's offense pretty well. It's a pro-style offense, and they like to throw the ball down the field. "They have some playmakers on the out- side, and the line was able to hold up for the quarterback, receivers, tight ends and backs to make plays." Thomas will have to sit out the 2012 sea- son, and then will compete with redshirt freshman Tyler Brosius, freshman Brian Tay- 44 ■ THE WOLFPACKER 387 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions, plus rushed for a score, in a 38-31 loss to San Jose State Oct. 1, 2011. He also was 29-of-36 passing for 386 yards with three touchdowns and one interception, and rushed six times for 78 yards, in a 36-34 win over Idaho Sept. 25, 2010. Thomas also will always remember play- ing in front of 60,989 fans at Invesco Field in Denver against archrival Colorado in his first college football game. He completed 24 of 33 attempts for 196 yards with three picks in a 24-3 loss to the Buffaloes. "That was definitely a big change going from high school to that," Thomas said. "I also remember my first win as a true fresh- man against Idaho where we came back on a last-minute drive when our kicker hit a field goal. This past year, we won in double overtime at Utah State [35-34 win Sept. 24, 2011]. Those were some really good memories." Thomas' two toughest opponents were arguably future Rose Bowl champions Texas were my fault for holding the ball too long," said Thomas, who is fully recovered from his sprained MCL. "I was just try- ing to make some plays. It definitely takes a toll. I think my mobility has improved, so we cut down on that a little bit." Thomas is looking forward to his time in Raleigh. "The guys on the team are great," said Thomas, who was hosted by redshirt junior quarterback Mike Glennon during his official visit. "The facilities and the fan base of NC State, I don't think you can do any better." ranked Thomas as the No. 16 pro-style quarterback in the country and the No. 48 prospect in California in the class of 2010 after a standout career at El Cajon Val- halla High, which is just east of San Diego. Thomas is used to being part of the action, so waiting until the 2013 season to resume playing will be a unique experience for him. "It's going to be a little different, but I'm looking forward to learning the playbook and learning under Mike Glennon," said Thomas, who will major in communications. "He's a great quarterback. It will be good for me to sit back, and focus on myself and what I need to do better." ■ In two seasons at Colorado State, Thomas started 21 games and completed 63.4 percent of his throws for 4,269 yards with 18 touch- downs and 21 interceptions. PHOTO COURTESY COLORADO STATE MEDIA RELATIONS

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