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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Warren Thomas, DE/LB, Midland University

Warren Thomas showed scouts that he can get to the QB with an impressive performance at the Tropical Bowl. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Warren Thomas
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 244 lbs.
  • Position: DE/LB
  • College: Midland University
  • Twitter: @waunton44
  • Instagram: wanton_14

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
My experience has been somewhat of a whirlwind. Coming out of high school, I went to Midland, then to Lamar, Kilgore and then back to Midland. My major was in Communications & Journalism with a minor in Coaching. I was able to write for the sports section in our school newspaper at Midland. I have also participated in many community service projects. With our team, we were able to assist with our community helping out with Elementary schools and food pantries. Back home at my church in Houston, Beacon of Light, I’ve been able to help with things like food drives and day care.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
They would say that I’m always energetic and dependable. I take responsibility out there on the field, and I’m somebody that’s trusted to make the play.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I can really be a team leader and always make it to practice and workouts. My role is to be a disruptor on defense. I’ve moved around a lot during my career. I’ve had a lot of defensive coordinators over the years. I can be an edge rusher as an OLB in a 3-4 or a DE in a 4-3. In college, I was also asked to play on the DL as a 3-tech. I can also be a huge contributor on special teams. I blocked 2 kicks in the 2020 season.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
I was able to play against some great competition at the Tropical Bowl. I was able to get 2 sacks off of Donavaughn Campbell of Louisiana Tech and Michael Johnson of Savannah State. FIU’s D’Ante Demery gave me the best competition. He was really good with his hands.

NAIA Northwestern QB Tyson Kooima is a great athlete that I was able to play against. He has the ability to extend plays with his legs and make good passes.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
There are guys that are really good at Midland. Safety Christian Harmon had 8 picks over a year ago. He’s a great playmaker in the secondary that has worked his way up and earned his spot. Charles Barnes is a crazy athlete who plays the nickel linebacker hybrid position. He’s so athletic that they also put him out as a receiver for Hail Mary plays. Darrin Gentry is another great talent at WR. He has good hands and runs his routes very well. He’s a complete receiver that moves well with the ball in his hands and is able to throw down good blocks for the run game.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
My overall career has come with a lot of challenges. I wasn’t heavily recruited coming out of high school. I was a 285 lb offensive lineman and not really looked at as an edge rusher at the time. I was able to get a scholarship to play for Midland although every player wants to compete at the highest level possible. I transferred to Lamar which is a D1 school, but that didn’t work the way that I planned. I redshirted my first year, and then as I was going into the next season, the coaching staff got fired. With that along with my grades that needed some help, I thought it best that I go the JUCO route. So, I ended up at Kilgore Community College. There I was able to establish myself as a pass rusher which led me back to Midland to finish my college career.

It was a wild journey, but it taught me a lot about perseverance and never giving up. I was also able to participate in the College Gridiron Showcase as well as the Tropical Bowl. Those experiences have opened many doors which has kept my dream alive of becoming a professional football player.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I’m most proud of getting 3 sacks in a game in 2020. That was one of the best games of my career. My biggest achievement was getting the opportunity to play at the Tropical Bowl. It was great to be able to play against top FBS competition and have success.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
I had a strip sack against NAIA’s Northwestern where I was able to get a strip sack. We were at home and it was the first big play of the game. The sideline went crazy after that play.

Another play that comes to mind was when I got a touchdown. The other DE was able to strip the ball, and I was able to pick up the fumble running 40 yards down the field for the score.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
JJ Watt has been my favorite NFL player. Although, I try to model my game after players like Frank Clark and Chandler Jones. Clark brings a different level of aggression and intensity to the game while Jones uses his long arms well and has great body control.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
I listen to a lot of different kinds of music, but for football, I listen to guys like Young Thug, Lil Baby and Future.

What is your favorite comfort food?
My go-to has to be wings whether it be from Buffalo Wild Wings or Wing Stop.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
I enjoy all the Marvel movies. Some of my favorite actors include Denzel Washington, Robert Downey Jr. and Leonardo DiCaprio.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
In my free time, I like to go hiking or watch TV. One interesting fact about me is that I have a birthmark on my eye.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
I love football. It teaches a lot about life, about perseverance and not giving up. You also have to set up a schedule and have goals. My biggest motivation is proving all the doubters wrong. I want to leave it all out on the field and have no regrets. I haven’t given up yet, and I’m going to see this through till the end. I’ve come this far despite my circumstances, and I’m so close to my NFL dreams.

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