Following a slew of injuries and bouts with both Covid-19 and strep throat last season, Xavier Thomas is ready to finish what he started. While the defensive end struggled to make much of an impact in his junior campaign, fellow teammate Tyler Davis is confident that Thomas is back and better than ever.
“Yeah, he’s shown a lot,” Davis said following their first scrimmage. “I think he’s probably improved, so I’d say he’s back.”
For Thomas, his attention to the little things have made the biggest impact on his game, something fellow defensive end Myles Murphy says has made all the difference.
“XT from the time that I first got here to where he is now, he’s much more disciplined,” Murphy said. “Back to where he was when he was overweight, you know, right off of Covid, very overweight and out of shape. He just got disciplined and started eating right, after every workout and every practice he was in the weight room on the treadmill and doing what he needs to do to get a good sweat in and eating right.”
With a newfound sense of confidence and discipline for the game, the South Carolina-native and former freshman first-team All-American is shaping up to have what could be his best and most explosive season yet for the Tigers.
“Nutrition for him is top tier, that was the biggest thing. He can do whatever in the weight room, but if you’re nutrition isn’t right then you’re not going to get to where you want to be, in the time that you want to get there,” Murphy said. “With him doing that, his discipline was there and once he got into the body that he is in right now, his confidence skyrocketed, and he started to loosen up on the field, which is honestly what I love to see. Even when I was in high school watching XT play and in college, I was like, ‘dang, that’s a really good player right there,’ and knowing that he’s in that body again right now is very exciting.”