It's been called âThe World's Toughest Job Interview.â For six days at the NFL Combine (Feb. 24-March 2), college football's best will be measured, interviewed, tested, watched and analyzed by countless NFL coaches, general managers and scouts conducting all of their due diligence before the NFL Draft. To prepare, nearly two dozen prospects have traveled to IMG Academy for six-plus weeks of Physical, Mental, Communication, Nutrition, Vision and psychological training with Athletic & Personal Development program specialists and on-field training with some of the game's top football coaches.
If you flip through the pages of the record books at Cedar Hill High School in Texas, you will still find the name Joshua Thomas emblazoned under the category for fastest 40-yard dash time. Josh was a standout in football and track at both Cedar Hill and during his career at the University of Buffalo. There is no doubt Josh is a great athlete, but his best qualities may be reserved for his personality. Josh recently spoke to us about the Super Bowl, debunking myths, and Jamie Foxx.
Josh Thomas on...
...giving up a medal in high school: I was always the man to beat when I ran track in high school. The target was always on my back because I was always winning. One other guy and I had been big rivals up to this point and we were always kind of talking trash to one another. During my senior year, we were at regionals for the 300-meter hurdles and he had a lead on me but tripped over the last hurdle which got me the gold medal. I then thought about all of the work that he had put in to get where to this point and thought he deserved something for that hard work. I ended up giving him my gold medal. I knew how hard I worked and where it had gotten me, so I didn't need that medal to remind me. He deserved it just as well.
...leaving his home state of Texas for Buffalo, NY: While in Texas I had a ton of distractions. I am not suggesting they were bad, but I just thought it would be best to kind of get away from all of it. I wasn't sure about going to Buffalo at first with all of the snow, but Turner Gill, who was the head coach at the time, was also a guy from Texas and he convinced me that it wasn't that bad. I enjoyed my time at Buffalo, so I am glad I went.
...favorite moment at Univ. of Buffalo: As a team, there was the MAC Championship in 2008 where we beat a Top 15-ranked Ball State team, but my personal favorite moment was against Missouri in 2008. We got beat, but I had a really good game that day. We were playing against them when they had Chase Daniels, Chase Coffman, Jeremy Maclin, and a number of other weapons so we had our work cut out for us. I laid a couple bih hits on their receivers and caused one or two fumbles. It was a great experience to be able to perform against that caliber of opponent.
...seeing ex-teammate James Starks win the Super Bowl: Of course I was happy for James. Nobody deserved it more than he did. He was a guy that had faced so much adversity with being injured his senior season at Buffalo, then falling all the way to the sixth round, and then again being injured to start his first NFL season. When he finally got his chance, you can't tell me that he didn't have an impact on that team. I was so happy for him when Green Bay won.
...being a country guy at heart: I may be fast on the field, but once I get off of it I like to take it nice and easy. I am a simple guy. Remember, I am from Texas where it is really laid back so I like to have my things in order and move smoothly from one item to the next. All this New York hustle and bustle isn't my style. I recently started playing the acoustic guitar. Well, I guess I really shouldn't say playing because I don't know any songs yet, but it is just one of those things that takes patience and time to learn and that is what I have been doing in my spare time.
...defensive backs are just wide receivers with no hands: Myth. I can catch the ball. As a defensive back you have to be a wide receiver as well. If the ball is up in the air, you have every right to go up and catch it just as the offensive guy does. I can go up there and pull the ball down with the best of them. My hands may not be the best of all time, but I can still catch the football.
...NFL receiver you would like to defend: It really doesn't matter to me. In my opinion, receivers are objects and they all want to do the same thing; catch and score. I just have to go out there and do my job regardless of who I am lining up across. I guess I wouldn't mind defending Randy Moss. He is a guy that I grew up idolizing so it would be nice to try and stop him. Wes Welker is another guy that I would like to get a shot at as well.
...who plays the actor in the Josh Thomas movie: I have to go with Jamie Foxx. He is so multi-talented. He can sing, dance, act, you name it. If you are good enough to play Ray Charles in a movie then you can pretty much play anyone.
...training with IMG: I really came to IMG to work with speed coach Loren Seagrave. My position is all about speed and he was the man I wanted to come see so that he could continue to help me get faster. On top of that, the facilities and the campus are amazing, and the food may be even better. I've been eating lobster, steak, you name it. It's a blessing to be here.