Signee Q&A: Offensive lineman Cole Thomas
We caught up with Bishop Blanchet offensive tackle Cole Thomas as part of our signee Q&A series for the class of 2019. We asked him a few questions as he prepares to make the transition from a Bishop Blanchet Brave to a Texas Tech Red Raider.
What was the most memorable moment of your high school career?
"I would have to say a game my senior year against Rainier Beach. It was their homecoming, they've been talking smack all week, they were talking smack before the game. They had all the works going on, they had fireworks before the game, they had a live DJ, they were really, really hyped up. We went in there and won when nobody was giving us a chance to beat them, in a game that came down to the last couple of plays. It was a really good feeling, and that was kind of the defining moment in my senior season and the defining moment for our 2019 class."
What was your favorite part of the recruiting process?
"The relationships I built with all the different coaches and just taking bits and pieces from when I got to pick their brain. Expanding my football IQ, talking ball, breaking down film and learning about their offense and offensive line play. Just kind of continuing to build my repertoire and learn about different college offenses. It was pretty cool."
What was the craziest thing that a coach said to you in your recruitment?
"I won't name the school but I was on a visit and the offensive line coach and the head coach haven't communicated in full, they both assumed that the other one was gonna offer me. So I was talking to the head coach and he was talking like I had an offer but I hadn't been offered yet. He was saying 'we'd love to have you' and all this great stuff but I was like 'okay...I appreciate it' and then I went to the offensive line coach and he was saying the same things. I was like 'you know you haven't offered me yet, right?' and the OL coach said 'I thought our head coach offered you?' and then we all got together and they offered but that was definitely one of the more confusing visits I went on. It's a funny memory, my dad and I both look back and chuckle at that because he was on the visit with me. So that was the craziest thing that I experienced or that was said to me."
If you had to pick one reason, what was the biggest reason you picked Texas Tech?
"The biggest reason was definitely the coaching staff. A lot of people throughout the process say a lot of things like 'you're our #1 offensive lineman on our board, you're our top priority' and then they'll just stop talking to you or they'll offer a couple more guys and move on from you without any indication as to why. But coach Wells, coach Yost and coach Farmer have always been straight up with me, they were my first offer at Utah State and they stayed true to me and always said those things. They were very transparent which I appreciated, so when they left Utah State I was like 'well shoot', that was kind of the last group of solid men with integrity who were always straight up with me and when I got the call from them at Texas Tech it was fantastic. It just solidified their word to me. That was the biggest thing in my decision."
What number do you want to wear at Tech and why?
"I know I'm not going to get it my first couple years but number 68. And I say that because Casey Verhulst was my host on my official visit. So when I was trying on the jersey for my photoshoot he was like 'oh that's kinda weird, there's someone else wearing my jersey. Looking like me on my official visit a couple years ago' so I asked him what's it going to take to wear that number, and he said 'me graduating'. So I'll see what number I get next month but I'll have to wait a couple years for Casey to take care of his business and rep his number until I can take it over."
What are your goals for your freshman season and overall in your Tech career?
"My goal for my freshman season is to continue to solidify and build a foundation in coach Wells' first recruiting class. Set the baseline, set the standard for the rest of his recruiting classes of what we want to do at Texas Tech which is win the Big 12, be a band of brothers that will walk through fire together and go up against anyone no matter what name is across their chest. We really want to be the standard for what Texas Tech football is going to be like under coach Wells. And then just watching and seeing what's going on and talking to the coaches the last three or four months as they've gotten to know the current players and how spring practice has gone and meetings have gone, I definitely think the older guys are buying in as well. I just think it's kind of a different feeling for us being freshman, coming in and hopefully have coach Wells for our four-to-five years there. So that's what I want to do my freshman year.
Throughout my Texas Tech career I want to win the Big 12, I want to go compete in the College Football Playoff. Texas Tech football has been up and down in recent years but especially now with the success basketball has had, it definitely opened peoples eyes to Lubbock, Texas and Texas Tech. So basketball is thriving, baseball is doing really well, football I feel like we're really coming. Just from the guys I've seen coming in, my fellow signees, and the guys that are already in the program and with being under the direction of coach Wells and all the other great coaches on the staff, I really feel like we are poised to make a run at a Big 12 championship and a run at the College Football Playoff."
What is your current height and weight?
"Currently I am 6-foot-7, 270 pounds."
Who is your favorite football player?
"My favorite offensive lineman of all time is Joe Thomas. Just watching him, I know he retired so I know he's not really current, but I haven't really moved on from him yet. I'm still watching all his film, breaking it down, I follow him on Twitter where he's always tweeting out offensive line stuff and it's fun to watch. So I haven't really moved on when Thomas retired and I guess I gotta find a current player.
My favorite player regardless of position I would say is Saquon Barkley, he's an incredibly hard worker, incredibly humble and a family guy too and I try to be all three of those things. So just seeing all the success he's had, how he has such a good head on his shoulders and I mean he just goes and balls out, he doesn't need to talk about it, he doesn't need to be flashy. He just goes out and puts in the work and when healthy he's just such a fun player to watch, he's a freak athlete, he can create plays every Sunday and back at Penn State on Saturday's so overall he's my favorite but position specific it's Joe Thomas."
If you could have dinner with anyone in the world who would you pick?
"I would pick playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda. I'm a big theater guy and he's my favorite playwright. Just the way he's been able to motivate and inspire people through his work. I mean you look at that and anyone can appreciate that no matter their profession. If you are in a field and you are inspiring people to do better, to rise to the occasion no matter the circumstance or no matter what's going on in their lives that's something that's very, very special. His work aside just what he's been able to do and inspire so many people. I would love to ask him 'how did you take something that you loved and reach so many lives that did not have interest in your work or field, or how did you motivate and inspire so many people to rise above their own circumstance?' It's not what everyone wants to do but it's what I want to do is leave the world better than I found it, and through his work he's definitely done that and I want to do that in my profession. So just having a conversation with him about that would be pretty special."
What is your favorite movie?
"It's a cliche but it's The Blind Side. I actually just watched it a week ago. I mean it's a movie about left tackles, like how can you not love that? We got an hour and a half of run-time on just us, shoot we never get any credit unless we get called out for holding or we give up a sack. But Michael Oher's story is so incredible, so inspiring, like I was just saying rising above circumstance. Just working hard, being humble. With the story the Tuohy family, just them being these upper middle class people, they really had no obligation to take him in and no reason to have to be involved with him. But they did and they were selfless. It's a good side of humanity to see and then obviously the football side of it too, you can't go wrong mixing those two together."
You get to pick 1 song when you're running out of the tunnel, what song do you pick?
"I'll go old school and pick some rock, probably 'Welcome To The Jungle' by Guns N' Roses. That's a good one, always get me fired up."
Whataburger or In-N-Out?
"Whataburger. I've been to both and I don't know if I'm going to get any backlash on this but I consider In-N-Out to be very, very overrated."
Houston or Dallas?
"Dallas, my sister lives there, I've visited Dallas so many times. It's an awesome, awesome city and my brother-in-laws parents actually live in Houston so no disrespect to H-Town but I'm gonna go Dallas."
Patrick Mahomes or Baker Mayfield?
"Patrick Mahomes, are you kidding me? Not just because of any Texas Tech vibes but I mean, I was watching something the other day, I was watching his no-look passes, and he's just a fantastic athlete. Getting the cover of Madden 20 and the publicity that he's brought to Texas Tech is a deserving publicity, and how he's helping put Texas Tech on the map, all these great things are happening. Just what he's been able to do for the university, in just the short time that I've been affiliated with Texas Tech, just how much the community has responded to him has been awesome. I hope I can reach his level of success and do the same for the university."
Anything else you want to tell Texas Tech fans?
"Like I said earlier we're coming for the College Football Playoff, we're coming for a Big 12 title, and we're ready for anything. We're excited to represent the university, I'm excited to represent the university, and I consider it one of the biggest honors of my life to play for Wells, coach Farmer, coach Yost and the rest of the coaching staff. Just reside in Lubbock, Texas for the next four-to-five years and continue to represent Texas Tech University with honor, respect and a whole lot of wins."