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Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas guarantees fewer picks in 2013

Douglas Jones / USA TODAY Sports
Cutting down on the interceptions this season will be key for Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomas.

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Virginia Tech's streak of eight consecutive 10-win seasons came to an end in 2012, and everybody pointed to QB Logan Thomas as the main culprit.

Thomas doesn't necessarily disagree with those folks.

Thomas threw for 2,976 yards and 18 TDs as the Hokies went 7-6, but he also threw 16 interceptions and his completion percentage fell from 59.8 percent in 2011 to 51.3 percent last season.

Thomas, a senior, calls the 2012 season the most adversity he has had to go through in his athletic life. "I didn't really lose confidence, but I did put too much pressure on my shoulders," he said Sunday at the 2013 ACC Football Kickoff media event.

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Thomas is a physical marvel, a sort of poor man's Cam Newton. Thomas is 6-feet-6 and 257 pounds, has been timed in 4.67 seconds in the 40-yard dash and has a huge arm. He led the Hokies in rushing with 524 yards last season and can both run past linebackers and run them over. But it's his passing ability that is in question.

He threw for 3,013 yards, 19 TDs and 10 picks as a first-time starter in 2011, and expectations were high for even better numbers last fall. Instead, his struggles began in Game Three -- an 18-point loss to Pittsburgh -- and he never really recovered. While he threw a TD pass in all but one game, he also threw an interception in all but four games and had six games with at least two picks.

"He had slow feet in the pocket, held the ball too long and had poor anticipation, timing and accuracy," NFL.com draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. "He has outstanding size and arm strength, but he needs to improve in a multitude of areas to be considered worthy of a top-three-round selection."

Thomas on Sunday vowed to cut down on the interceptions: "I am not going to have 16 interceptions again, I can promise you that."

He said one thing he worked on this offseason was his body positioning in the pocket. Thomas said he too often was off-balance last season. For instance, "I would step too far left and the ball would dive into the dirt or go high," he said.

Thomas said a re-made Hokies offensive coaching staff has set what he thinks are attainable goals: fewer than five interceptions and a 62-percent completion rate. Thomas also said the offense will be an aggressive one. "You can't sit back and try to finesse everything," he said.

He will have some control about how aggressive the Hokies will be. Unlike last season, when all the audibles came from the sideline, Thomas said he will be able to change plays at the line this season.

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