Bulldog bio: Corey Thomas

Mississippi State's Corey Thomas (34) listens in during a defensive line meeting last season.

Staff Writer

It’s not easy for a 6-foot-5-inch, 310-pound guy to get overlooked.

However that might be exactly what’s happening with Mississippi State defensive tackle Cory Thomas.

Thomas is about to enter his senior season with the Bulldogs. He has a ton of experience, including as a starter. However his name isn’t one that is getting all that much attention as the season nears.

Such is life for a guy on the same defensive line as first team All-Southeastern Conference selections Jeffery Simmons and Montez Sweat. However, Thomas doesn’t mind being in the background at all.
“At the end of the day, what we’re trying to accomplish is to be the best defensive line in the world,” Thomas said back during the spring.

It’s possibly Simmons and Sweat will continue to get many of the headlines come the fall. Thomas will be right there beside them though helping make up what is likely to be one of the nation’s most intimidating defensive fronts.

Back healthy

Thomas might be getting a little more attention had his season not gotten derailed a year ago. Thomas played in just six games in 2017 as he battled a foot injury that eventually required surgery. He missed five games in a row and seven of State’s last 11 contests.

“It was really frustrating,” Thomas said during the spring as he reflected back on his injury-plagued 2017 season. “But I never question God. I just kept my head down and kept going and tried to motivate the guys the best I could and lead the best way possible.”

Thomas is ready for a clean slate in 2018. He’s finally healthy again and he’s anxious to finally play football again without having to worry about a bad wheel.

“I’d say I’m 100 percent,” Thomas said. “(The foot) doesn’t give me any problems. I just get ramped up and go.”

Did you know?

It’s no coincidence that Thomas wears No. 34 for Mississippi State.

Thomas adopted his jersey number because it’s the same digits that were worn by former Auburn star Bo Jackson. Both Thomas and Jackson are from Bessemer, Alabama, and both attended McAdory High School.

Jackson of course later went on to play both professional football and baseball. Jackson’s playing days were over before Thomas was even born, however there’s still a little piece of Bo on the football field every time Thomas touches the gridiron.

Looking ahead

Thomas is one of several Mississippi State defensive linemen that could benefit from the attention that will surely be given to Simmons and Sweat.

Simmons is often times double teamed. Sweat is an elite pass rusher, so opponents will have to look to slow him down.

Those things could free up Thomas and others up front to do damage on their own. It’s almost a certainty that Simmons and Sweat will be impact performers for the Bulldogs. If Thomas can pull his share of the load too, MSU’s front goes from dangerous to lethal.

(Editor's note: Leading up to the start of Mississippi State football training camp, the Starkville Daily News is taking a look at several of the key pieces for the 2018 Bulldogs.)