Terrell Thomas #24 DB
Height: 6-0 Weight: 191 Age: 28
Born: 1/8/1985 Los Angeles , CA
Experience: 6th season
High School: Cucamonga HS [Rancho Cucamonga, CA]
Selected By: New York Giants
Pick (Overall): 32 (63)
One of the premier lock-down cornerbacks in college football, Thomas' hard-hitting tackling ability and penchant for making big tackles inside the box could see him shift to free safety at the next level. When healthy, he has more than lived up to the challenge of covering the opposition's main receiving target and has allowed just two touchdown catches over the last two seasons.
Injuries have been the only thing to keep Thomas off the field for the Trojans. Because of his ability to dominate vs. the run, he has also seen some action with the linebacker unit. He shows little regard for his own safety, willingly hurling himself into the pile to make the play. He does this despite undergoing surgery on both shoulders during his career, in addition to surgery on his right knee to repair torn ligaments. The grueling rehabilitation he underwent each time saw him return to perform even better than before he was hurt.
At Ranch Cucamonga High School, Thomas earned 2002 Super Prep All-America, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-West, Tom Lemming All-West, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first-team, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, All-CIF Division II first- team and Los Angeles Times All-Inland Empire first-team accolades.
A standout tailback and cornerback, Thomas rushed for 1,250 yards on 134 carries (9.3 avg) with 14 touchdowns and caught 30 passes with five scores as a senior. On defense, he recorded 115 tackles, had seven interceptions and forced four fumbles while averaging 44.5 yards on kickoff returns in 2002.
As a junior, Thomas collected 78 tackles and five interceptions, as he also had 15 catches for 250 yards (16.7 avg) with six touchdowns. He also was on the school's track team, compiling career-bests of 10.5 seconds in the 100-meters and 21.4 in the 200-meters.
Thomas enrolled at Southern California in 2003. He was listed second on the depth chart at free safety, but suffered a right shoulder dislocation in fall camp. He underwent surgery, receiving a medical hardship. In 2004, Thomas appeared in 11 games as a reserve cornerback, shifting to that position from free safety during '04 spring drills. Seeing most of his action in the dime packages and on special teams, he made only nine tackles (7 solos), but also batted away a pair of passes and intercepted two others.
Thomas took over strong-side (right) cornerback for the first two games of the 2005 season, but he suffered torn ligaments in his right knee vs. Arkansas, underwent surgery and was lost for the rest of the year. He finished with five solo tackles and a pass break-up.
Thomas reclaimed his right cornerback job in 2006, earning All-Pac 10 Conference second-team honors. He ranked seventh on the team with 50 tackles (35 solos), having a strong presence on the blitz, as he totaled three sacks for losses of 32 yards and recovered two fumbles, returning one for a touchdown. He also intercepted two passes and deflected 12 others.
Prior to the start of 2007 spring drills, Thomas underwent surgery to repair a left shoulder dislocation. He returned to start all 13 games, again receiving All-Pac 10 Conference second-team recognition. He ranked ninth on the squad with 45 tackles (31 solos) and had a sack with 4.5 stops for losses. He caused three fumbles, recovered another and batted away seven passes. He also gained 44 yards on four interception returns.