RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Thayer Thomas has always been confident in his ability. So after catching just one pass in a tough home loss to Miami a week ago, Thomas didn’t sulk.
“I’ve always had confidence in myself,” demanded Thomas. “My second game here I had over 100 yards so I always thought I was capable of doing stuff like that. The opportunities that come my way I just have to make the most of them.”
Like he did Saturday night in the Wolfpack’s 38 to 22 win over Florida State.
Thomas torched the Seminoles hauling in 11 receptions for 135 yards and two touchdowns. In State’s seven previous games the former Heritage High School star had netted 16 catches for 214 yards.
“Last week he had one catch for nine yards,” said starting quarterback Bailey Hockman. “I told him after practice (leading up to the FSU game) I’m coming to you I got you bro and he was like ‘let’s just keep working we’re going to get it.'”
“He’s a great player, works his butt off every day. I’m lucky to have him as a teammate. I’m proud of him. He did a great job.”
The eye-popping numbers Thomas put up on Saturday came within the framework of the contest. You would have thought the redshirt junior was the focus of the game plan. Not so says N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren.
“They were just giving us the slants inside,” Doeren explained. “We were expecting a certain coverage. If the Mike (linebacker) went a certain direction, he (Hockman) was going to go back to the other side where Thayer was and that’s kind of what they were playing.”
Florida State never did adjust and Thomas just kept nabbing passes, nearly doubling his season output.
Not bad for a player no one wanted coming out of high school. Thomas walked on at N.C. State, earning a scholarship in the spring of 2018.
“I just put my head down at practice every day and go to work,” Thomas said. “The whole quarantine I took very seriously and prepared for this game, this season and I feel like it’s paying off at the moment.”