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2023 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Jamil Thomas, DB, Ferris State University

Jamil Thomas the play making defensive back from Ferris State University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen.
Jamil Thomas the play making defensive back from Ferris State University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen.
  • Name: Jamil Thomas
  • Position: DB
  • College: Ferris State University
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 190 lbs
  • Twitter: @JamilThomas5
  • Instagram: @moneyy_mil

What made you decide you wanted to be a football player?

Growing up I always wanted to do whatever my brother was doing. When I was 2 years-old I use to run up the sidelines during his games and practices since I was to young to play. When I turned 5 I started off playing running back and linebacker, it was just something about wanting to have that football in my hands. Once I started playing tackle football I fell in love with the contact and competition on the gridiron. My older brother who served in the Navy had the same dream as myself to go to the league but unfortunately he was killed in a tragic car accident a month after he was accepted to Troy State. I play this game now not just for myself but for my brother in Heaven.

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

I would hang out with Deion Sanders, Prime Time. He is in both college and pro Hall of Fame, coaching, and he is giving back to the community. He is inspirational on and off the field. I would love to sit down with him being a sponge and just listen to him whether it’s talking football, watching film, or while playing pool. He is a walking gem.

What are your favorite moments from your football life?

One of my little league seasons we went undefeated, gave up zero points, and won the championship. My senior year in high school we went to the state championship having a undefeated regular season and playing at Camping World stadium. Lastly, winning the D2 2021 National Championship going undefeated building bonds with my teammates that can’t be broken.

What sets you apart from other defensive backs?

Other than my versatility being able to play safety, corner, and nickel. What most separates me from other DB’s would be my mentality and football IQ. Being able to break down offenses and film study makes my playmaking ability better. My ability to cover and tackle is a bonus.

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

The energy I bring on the field is contagious. I lead by example and my teammates feed off of me. When I’m competing I tend to make my teammates around me match my energy or try to outwork me. When I’m not on the field competing, my energy is passionate. I try to coach and support my teammates.

What is your favorite coverage and why?

Cover 0! This is where you compete the most at any defensive back position. You have to lock up. You have no help. You have to trust in your skills and have the confidence that you are better than the person in front of you. This is where the dog has to come out of you.

What should we know about Jamil Thomas the person?

I am God fearing and a family man. I feel that there is no mountain high enough and no goal great enough that I can’t reach. I strive to be the best in everything I do on and off the field. I have a hidden passion for dentistry, which I am in the dental hygiene program. I love fishing, but will not put live bait on the hook.

How do you prepare for games?

Other than practice and mandatory meetings. Throughout the week I hydrate, watch film, study our opposing team’s formation & route scheme, player tendencies, and pass & run percentage on each down. I go to the training room for recovery the day before each game and drink a bottle of pedialyte. On game day I’m all about business with tunnel vision. I don’t talk unless I’m being asked a question, listen to music, watch more film, and pray.

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

Unfortunately in life things happen that we can’t control. For me it’s all a mental challenge. I look at challenges like obstacles. Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal. I find ways to rise above the challenge, facing them head on knowing it’s going to make me better and God is guiding me.

What would a team get in a player like you?

A team player who is smart and versatile. A natural born leader. A teammate who will be there for them on and off the field. A teammate that will challenge them and expect them to challenge me to reach my fullest potential.

What are you looking forward to in your upcoming season?

I look forward to achieving my personal and team goals. Grinding with my brothers and leading the defense. Playing to the best of my abilities and controlling what I can control each rep, play, and game.

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

The most underrated player I played with was Christian Watson. I played with him in high school where he was much smaller than he is now and only had 1 offer to NDSU. He always been the underdog and had to prove himself. He was drafted in the second round to the packers in the 2022 draft and still has something to prove.

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