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2023 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Dillon Thomas, DB, Missouri State University

Dillon Thomas the standout defensive back from Missouri State University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen.
Dillon Thomas the standout defensive back from Missouri State University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen.
  • Name: Dillon Thomas
  • Position: DB
  • College: Missouri State University (Transfer from Northern Illinois)
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 195 lbs
  • Twitter: @DT__XIV

What sets you apart from other defensive backs?

I’ll say what separates me from other defensive back’s is my versatility and knowledge of the game. I’ve played and started games at corner as well as the nickel/rover position. As well as cross trained being a safety for majority of my college career. I can confidently play all 4-5 spots on the field as a defensive back.

What type of energy do you bring onto the football field?

I bring the confident swagger of a vet and an experienced player. When things hit the fan, I’m the voice that gets everyone resettled and locked back in. I bring positive juice and energy to practice daily with the goal of getting a little bit better, one way or another.

What do you think are the keys to success on the football field?

I think keys to success on the football field starts with preparation during the week for the games, and repetition on your reps and field work until it’s muscle memory. I definitely feel like film study is very vital for players as well, being able to find keys and tendencies of your opponent will always help you find success.

If you could hang out with any football player past or present for a day who and why?

Tyrann Mathieu for sure, I just love the way he’s played. Since college, and watching his story play out is inspirational to me. He’s a true leader on and off the field and backs it up with his play every time, even with all the doubters through the years. His style of play is what I try to model mine off of and the ability to be play anywhere on the field.

What are your favorite moments from your football life?

My probably top two favorite memories would be from the 2019 season while playing at NIU. I had the game saving forced fumble against Western Michigan with a little over a minute or so left of game clock in the 4th quarter. Then probably this past 2021 season with the huskies having one of the biggest single season turn arounds in FBS history and being a starter through that process. Finishing my career there with a interception against Kent State in the conference championship game.

What is your favorite coverage and why?

I’d say probably some variation of a fire zone third. Whether I’m rolling to middle of the field playing deep middle or coming down and replacing a linebacker I feel like I’m freed up and really able to let my natural instincts take over the game and make plays that come to me.

What should we know about Dillon Thomas the person?

I’m a guy who loves gaming in my free time and eating chipotle. I love going to the lake during the summer, and traveling the country to see new places and cities. Nothing matters more to me than my relationships and connections. Family and friends are at the top of list of importance to me, right under faith.

What are you looking forward to in your upcoming season?

Being on a new team and the real chance to win a national championship, I’m glad to be back in my home state so my family can come to more home games. And just overall a fresh start on a really good football team with a really good coaching staff.

How do you handle challenges both in life and on the football field?

I try to attack situations head on, both on the field and in real life. I prefer to address challenges immediately and figure out the best approach to figuring them out.

Who is the most underrated player you’ve played with and why?

Tyrice Richie at NIU. He plays like Deebo Samuel. A threat on any part of the field. Can be playing WR or as the RB and he’s a true threat with the ball in his hand.

What is a moment that improved you as a football player?

Probably my sophomore year of high school. I started every game at varsity corner. But my coaches also made me play every junior varsity game to work on my receiver skills. This really humbled me and allowed me to slow and down and really process what I needed to work on to become a better football player all around.

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