Florida A&M wide receiver Patrick Thomas has no doubt that 2018 will be a different story for the Rattlers’ football program.
The second- year transfer student from Union, New Jersey, is excited after being red-shirted last season. And he feels that new head coach Willie Simmons is bringing the team closer together.
“Well since the school hired Willie Simmons as our new head coach we’ve been acting more like a team rather than a bunch of individuals. This is a team sport so we need to all be on the same page,” he said.
Thomas expects to get reps during spring practice, which is now underway. Right now there’s a lot of competition at the wide receiver position but he thinks he’ll perform well enough to be in the rotation.
And the new wide receiver coach, Jelani Berassa from Delaware State University, feels the same way.
“Patrick is a good player he’s 6-foot-2 and he’s in really good shape so of course we’re going to use him in our offense,” Berassa said. “The kid’s a natural good ball player.”
Thomas expects to work on his craft this year. Such as running better routes to fake out his defenders and how to place his body in the best position to catch the ball over a defender. And he believes that coach Berassa is the man to help him be better.
Thomas says that football has been his passion since he was in elementary school.
“It’s the ultimate team sport. You have to depend on 10 other guys to help you perform your one job. When I’m on the field, nothing else matters. All my problems and concerns have been washed away,” he said. “When I put on these pads and walk on that field I’m in my safe haven.”
Starting quarterback Ryan Stanley is starting to get acquainted with his new receiver.
“I wish he could have played during the season last year but I know he was a transfer student. He’s tall and can stretch out and catch the ball to make big plays so that makes him a good weapon for our offense,” Stanley said.
Thomas says that the hardest thing to do is adjusting from living up north in New Jersey to moving to school in Florida.