Thomas: Unfortunate Childhood Adversity Helped Me "Become The Man I Am"

The Indiana tight end prospect lost both of his parents before the age of 10

The DA Show
April 02, 2018 - 11:41 am

USA Today Images


When people experience tragedy, especially at a young age, they often don’t want to discuss it. The memories can be too painful.

But Indiana tight end prospect Ian Thomas, who lost both of his parents before the age of 10, is willing to open up about his past.

“It helped me grow up as a man,” Thomas said on The DA Show. “I think that’s something that defined me and my family. It didn’t break us, so why not discuss it? It’s something that made us who we are today and helped me become the man I am.”

Thomas’ mother passed away from liver and kidney failure, while his father died of a heart attack. One of nine children, Thomas was raised by his older brother.

“The younger half went and lived with my grandma, and the older half was with my older brother,” Thomas explained. “We were kind of split half and half.”

Thomas and his siblings worked together as much as possible to have a stable upbringing. They even divvied up daily and weekly chores.

“Everyone did something different,” Thomas said. “For example, I would have dishes and my brother would take the trash out. We would switch it weekly. I feel like it kind of worked out well. We all had a sense of we know what we need to do to move forward. We had a great mindset going into it, so it all worked out.”

Thomas, who is 6-5, 248 pounds, is one of the top tight end prospects in the draft. He spent two years at Nassau Community College before transferring to Indiana. He caught five passes for 53 yards and two touchdowns in Indiana’s 2017 opener against Ohio State and finished with five five touchdowns on the season.

Thomas believes he can succeed as a pass-catcher in the NFL.

“I definitely expect that,” he said. “I expect to have an impact in the run game as well. As much as I can use my body in the best way I can, I would like to do that in the best way a team can put me. We’ll just see how that pans out.”