By: Ryan Smithers
Who scored the first touchdown of NC State’s 2018 season? Was it Ryan Finley? Jakobi Meyers? How about Heritage graduate, Thayer Thomas? In NC State’s opener on Saturday, the former Heritage wide receiver took a 16-yard catch-and-run to the house. This touchdown marked the first of the Wolfpack’s season, as well as the first of Thomas’ college career.
Thomas joined the team as a walk-on in 2017 and was quickly put on scholarship this past spring. Since then, he’s been putting in work everyday to make the most of this opportunity. NC State coaches honored Thomas’ grind by placing him on State’s 2nd WR core and naming him 1st team punt returner.
The 16-yard touchdown reception wasn’t the only way Thayer Thomas contributed. He also had a 40-yard punt return in the second quarter which set him up for his own touchdown. NC State beat JMU with a final score of 24-13. Head coach, Dave Doeren, praised Thomas for his outstanding performance.
“I thought Thayer Thomas didn’t play like a freshman at all,” Doeren told the Herald Sun. “Had a great punt return, had a nice touchdown.”
For some, this moment took their emotions on a wild ride. Well known Heritage teacher, Mrs. Thomas, said she was only nervous before the game. When asked about Thayer’s touchdown reception she added that she was surprised, not because she didn’t think her son could play at this level, but that her and her family were “surprised he was in that situation.” As for Thayer, he told Herald Sun reporters that he struggled to sleep the night before and was so nervous that he couldn’t finish his pregame meal. Well, Thayer, a touchdown is a good way to get those butterflies out of the way even on an empty stomach.
NC State takes on Georgia State this Saturday at 12:30 PM.
Heritage graduate, Thayer Thomas, takes a punt back 40-yards in NC State’s 24-13 victory over JMU.