Zephyrhills safety Bryan Thomas gave us an impromptu interview on our way back from Lakeland on…
Original Video Interview:
Franz Beard: Hi we're here with Bryan Thomas, Safety from Zephyrhills, Florida who is going into the Gator Class and he'll be arriving on campus on Sunday I believe it is. Talk to us about what's been going on with you. I know you've had surgery on your knee, so tell us about the surgery. Was it major, minor, tell us about it?
Bryan Thomas: It was a minor surgery. It was just something in and out. It only took 30 minutes to do and just come to school ready and get it done before the season starts, so I won't have nothing holding me back.
What's the estimated time for rehab on it and how soon do they say you'll be back at 100%?
Three weeks. I rehab for two weeks and I should be back in action in three weeks.
All right. Now you've been working out a lot to get ready for this football season coming up. Obviously, you're coming in with the idea that there's plenty of time to be had. So tell us about what your workouts have been like and so forth like that.
Workouts have been really tense for this month, shoulders and my upper body trying to build that up so I can be able to make contact with guys 230 some odd pounds and I have just been training real hard with friends in the neighborhood and my cousin who also is going to another college. But I'm just trying to get ready.
What is your height and weight now? What's your 40 speed?
I'm 6' 1", 202 pounds and I ran 439.
Now 202 pounds, that's what about a 13 or 14 pound gain from where you played in high school last year?
Almost yeah, I played at 185 and then I went up to 195 and then after I visited school, they weighed me I was 196 and now I'm 202.
So it's been a steady gain, most of it going on the upper body?
All right. Now what is your anticipation for when you get to Florida? What's are your goals for the (1:56 – inaudible) days and so forth like that? Everybody has to have goals. What have you set as your own personal goal and then as a team goal?
Survive that's my personal goal. I mean college is like a whole other level of intensity for this training and preparing for the games and stuff and I just want to come out and show coach I have what it takes to (2:16 – inaudible) to play. And for the team, I just well wherever I can help my team. I play guard if I had to, I just want to come out and make an impact early.
So you're coming with the idea that there's playing time to be had and wherever you need to go to play, to get playing time that's where you're going, right?
All right. Now being a Gator, everybody has dream schools and so forth like this and you're coming in and you're going to be a Gator number one, number two, you're coming in with the number one recruiting class in the country. A lot of great athletes, everything, do you talk to any of the guys who are coming in with you and so forth like that? Are you staying in contact with any of them?
All the time, I mean we're always on the website, of course a little (2:57 – inaudible), we're always on the phone, me, Marcus, Gilbert, Dustin, AJ, Jones, all of us. Most of us are coming out of the Bay, so all of us are real close. So yeah I keep in contact with all of them and we're all excited about it.
Is it really good for you, a good feeling to say that you're coming in with so many guys that you really know and you like and you have as friends?
Yes, it's pretty good because we already have kind of built a foundation as a family with the All Star games and already knowing each other from the area. Then once we come in, we're already past that point of being close. Now we just have to get to the point of working together.
Now talking to, which coaches do you talk to at UF and I'm sure they've been very encouraging, particularly with the knee surgery?
Coach Heater, Coach Mullin, Coach Holliday, those are like my main coaches. Coach Mullin because he recruited me and we have always been pretty close. Coach Holliday and Coach Heater because they're secondary coaches.
Now I've heard stories that Doc is actually a really funny guy. Is that true?
He can be, he can be. He tries to stay mellow, to be laid back but he's really hilarious if you sit down and talk to him.
Now how about Coach Heater, I've also heard Coach Heater has that real serious look about him but I heard if you get Coach Heater one on one he's actually a very funny guy?
Yes, he is too. One on one he is but in a group of people he isn't. He has to be a Coach, you know.
Coach Mullin, everybody knows that man's totally insane.
He's pretty laid back. I like him. When he recruited me, he didn't pressure me into anything. He said, "We're not going to ride you. You're a man and you're going to make your own decision." And that helped lean me towards Florida.
Real happy with your decision then to be a Gator?
Very happy with my decision, I wouldn't take it no other way.
Now what are you going to major in? When you get there, I know everybody's got to have a plan for after football, so what's the plan there?
I was thinking of sports management. Something I can do to stay close to the game I love if it don't work out for me in the end, something I'm familiar with and something I enjoy doing.
Now you excelled academically when you were in high school, so obviously the challenge of taking on college life with academics that are going to be raised a bar or two, you're ready for that. You've really done a good job preparing yourself for that.
I feel I'm very adequate when it comes to that. I'm very focused on my schoolwork. I know when I have to get it done and just all the basic factors of becoming a good college student, I've got that.
We met your little brother outside and he says, "Hey, 5 or 6 years, I'll be there too."
Yes he will. He has his head on pretty straight and wait to see how it goes from there.
So in other words the whole family is Gator's now?
Got to be.
All right, with Bryan Thomas the injured Bryan Thomas but soon to be back to 100% Bryan Thomas from Zephyr Hills, Florida. Good luck to you.