TAMPA – Tyler Thomas may be young, but he has been playing football for a long time.
The new Hillsborough quarterback is shining under center in his first varsity season. The sophomore has 624 passing yards, five touchdowns, two interceptions and 111 rushing yards and a touchdown in five starts.
Thomas first picked up a football at age 3, but it wasn’t until five years later that he took part in organized football. At 6’1″, 175 lbs., the 2019 prospect is calm and collective under the bright lights.
He played little league football as a freshman and didn’t make the move to Hillsborough until transferring over after one semester at Blake.
Thomas has adjusted well to varsity football. He’s been the starter for the whole season beginning with the home opener against Durant, a game he called “nerve-racking.”
“I was thinking ‘don’t mess up instead of play good, play your game'”, Thomas told Prep Sports Scouting.
The 17-7 win over Durant was the only game where he didn’t score a touchdown. He’s noticed the main differences in playing varsity.
“The guys are a lot more talented,” Thomas said. “You can’t rely on talent anymore, you have to be more skilled and smarter now.”
Thomas sat out the Week 4 game against Spoto due to an injury, but in terms of his development and confidence, he says he feels pretty good.
“There is still a lot of room for improvement,” he said. “I’m still working on getting better but I feel like we are in a great spot as a team.”
Right now, the Terriers sit at 6-0 averaging 31 points per game on offense. Hillsborough has given up just 44 points this season.
Thomas has high hopes for his group with a visit from Class 6A-District 7 rival Blake on tap for Friday night.
“If the team sticks together and keeps working hard, I feel like we can go really far,” he said. “We take every game seriously. Every game we look at as a chance to get better. We actually look forward to these games. These are money games.”
Thomas calls playing for longtime head coach Earl Garcia great. Garcia is entering his 24th season at Hillsborough. Under Garcia’s command, the Terriers have made 19 regional appearances highlighted by finishing as the state runner-up in 1996. Last season marked the first time in his tenure that Hillsborough failed to make the playoffs.
“It’s great. I learn so much from him. He has a lot of knowledge about the game,” Thomas said. “He’s always on me about the grades and always wants me to get better in everything that I do.”
As for his biggest strengths, Thomas pointed to his ability to buy time in the pocket and to consistently go through his progressions and find an open man. He’s aiming to improve his accuracy and consistency.
Thomas has no offers or interest yet, but through six games in his debut varsity season he has made things happen and there is no doubt scouts are looking at his game tape.
His dad, a former semi-professional football player for the Tampa Bulldogs serves as his biggest role model in his life.
“He was my favorite football player and person,” Thomas said. “He’s always giving me life lessons and wants me to be a great person.”
Playing in the NFL has always been a dream for Thomas. When he thinks about college, he wants to study either sports broadcasting or business because he says he wants people to work for him not the other way around.
Young, determined and poised beyond his years, Tyler Thomas is a quarterback that is making his presence felt with each throw and run at Hillsborough.
He’s only going to get better from here on out and that’s big for this program. Thomas is a 2019 prospect that needs more attention right now. He is legit.
Favorite player to watch – Randy Moss, Warren Moon, LaDanian Tomlinson
Favorite movies – Shrek
Favorite TV shows – The Regular Show
Fun fact about you that you think no one knows – “I love science. I love doing experiments and seeing how things work.”
Nickname(s) from teammates or friends – “Ty”
Game film: Thomas’ Hudl tape
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Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to write below or email Jake at firstname.lastname@example.org.