By Matt Jones, sports editor
On the brink of the deadline for underclassmen to declare their intentions for the NFL Draft, Logan Thomas chose to give it one more go-around in Blacksburg.
The quarterback will return for his redshirt-senior season this fall, joining newly named offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler.
“I’m deciding to come back to Tech to better myself and this team for the future,” Thomas said. “I’m looking forward to what this upcoming season holds. The NFL has always been a goal of mine, but the NFL will always be there while college is only a five-year experience that you can’t get back.”
He informed the coaches of his decision Monday. Thomas announced his decision to the nation on ESPN’s College Football Live Tuesday afternoon.
“(Coach Beamer) was extremely excited,” Thomas said. “Him along with coach Stinespring and coach Shane Beamer were extremely excited that I was coming back. They all said, ‘We know you can go to the draft and be a good pick, but we want you to come back.’ When I told them yesterday they were extremely excited; they were smiling, laughing, and giving high fives. They told me they were happy to have their leader back in the room, and I’m happy to be back.
Thomas saw a dip in his production in 2012, throwing for 2,976 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was plagued with interceptions, throwing 16.
“I think I have a lot to work on. I think I can get better,” Thomas said. “Leaving a program at 7-6, especially a program like Virginia Tech which we have a legacy of winning a lot of games and ACC Championships, left a bad taste in my mouth and I want to come back and have a better season next year.”
In 2011, he broke the school’s single-season total offense record set by Tyrod Taylor in 2010. His 234 completions, 391 attempts and 3,013 yards passing all rank second in Tech history for a single season. Heading into the 2012 season, many draft analysts projected him as a first round pick.
“We’ve got a good core group of guys on the offensive line, our middle three will be back,” Thomas said. “We’ll get our center back in Andrew Miller who is a very good player. Obviously we’ll have to find the two tackles, but the thing that will help us more this year than last year is we’ll be able to run the football, and that’s what we’ll need to do.”
At 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, Thomas is a running threat as well. He has 1,015 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns in his two seasons as a starter.
His shaky junior season gave many doubts about his NFL future. Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN.com ranks him as his top draft eligible junior quarterback. “Logan Thomas has experienced a shaky season, but he leads this list because he’s got great physical tools and so much potential,” Kiper said.
“Any quarterback will preach accuracy, but I need to be a lot more consistent,” Thomas said. “I had a lot of throws get away from me this year. I have to take care of the little things, and hopefully that helps me become a better quarterback and make our team become a better team.”
Thomas joins James Gayle and Antone Exum in returning for their redshirt-senior seasons.
The Hokies play Alabama on September 31 in Atlanta, GA to kick off the 2013 season.
“You’re going up against back-to-back national champs, the number one defense in the country and first rounder’s all over the field,” Thomas said. “You know it’s going to be a great challenge for us. Obviously we know we have a lot of work to do and a lot of work to put in before then, but I think it’ll be a motivator for us in the offseason, and I think we’ll be excited and ready to go come August 31.”
Photo courtesy Trevor White, SPPS