Pete Thomas has come a long way in one full season as the starting quarterback of the Colorado State Rams.
The Rams (3-9, 2-6 MWC), who finished a tough and embattling season today in shutout fashion 44-0 to the Cowboys in Wyoming, started the true freshman and Thomas was the only frosh to start every one of his team’s games this year. As a true freshman, he’s got the build of a legitimate starting QB at 6’5” 210 lbs. including a strong arm and nimble enough feet.
Thomas has been given every chance to succeed under head coach Steve Fairchild, who has had much patience with his freshman phenom quarterback, and succeed he did in 2010.
In six of the Rams’ 12 games this season, Thomas passed for better than 200 yards, and in those games he was remarkable. (Also, all three of CSU’s victories came with Thomas’ success.) Pete Thomas averaged 290 yards with 1.7 TDs and one INT in those contests, including back to back 300+ yard games.
His best performance from a pure production perspective was on September 25 against Idaho as he lit up the Vandals for 386 yards with three touchdowns, including the game winner to cap off a fourth quarter drive.
Thomas ended the season with his smallest output in yards (97) this week, but still managed to take over San Diego State’s Ryan Lindley’s 2,653 yards in 2008, finishing 2010 at 2,662 yards, good for No. 1 in the MWC all-time by a freshman quarterback. And while Lindley threw for 16 touchdowns in 2008, five more than Thomas this year, Thomas’ completion percentage (66.2-56.7) and QB rating (129.8-117.0) were both better, meaning he enjoyed the best all-around season for a freshman MWC QB in the conference’s history.
In all, Thomas’ 2010 campaign ranks No. 9 in Colorado State quarterbacking history, just behind Matt Newton’s 2000 season.
What’s really impressive for Thomas is the fact that he enjoyed so much success with an offensive line that couldn’t block for him many times (they allowed 38 sacks), and young receivers that only began to come into their own later in the season.
Sophomore and leading receiver Lou Greenwood caught on mid-season and will likely be the go-to guy in Fort Collins for the next two seasons. Likewise, sophomore Byron Steele played better football and the two will be athletic speedsters with another year of experience in Fairchild’s system in 2011.
That’s right Ram fans, if everything works out correctly, Pete Thomas will only continue to grow from this point and could possibly be one of the best college quarterbacks in the country in 2012 and 2013.
And when all is said and done, Thomas could be the greatest Colorado State QB in the school’s history.
At any rate, Thomas is the class of the college quarterback position right now in Colorado, playing for the up-and-coming Rams.
Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist actively seeking a career in journalism. Along with being the Denver Nuggets and a Denver Broncos Featured Columnist for bleacherreport.com, Kurtzman is the CSU Rams Examiner and the Colorado/Utah Regional Correspondent for stadiumjourney.com.
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