As part of our 2012 season preview, we’re counting down the top 25 players in the ACC for this season, from 25 to one. Obviously these lists are always completely subjective, so feel free to weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments.
Perhaps no player is as singularly important to his team’s success in 2012 as Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas. The junior, now entering his second full season as the Hokies’ starting quarterback, can simply add that to his ever-growing list of pressures, though. Since arriving in the ACC, this team has won at least 10 games every season, and Thomas must now continue that streak. He’s getting preseason hype that would make most players blush. His NFL Draft stock (should he choose to declare after this year) is through the roof. And of course, he’ll be taking snaps behind one of the conference’s most inexperienced offensive lines.
Even considering all of that, however, there’s a fair shot that Thomas continues his stellar improvement over the past year. Inconsistent through his first five games of 2011, he struggled to find a rhythm or accuracy, taking too many risks and succumbing too easily to pressure. But then something clicked against Miami. Confident and precise, Thomas began standing up and throwing in the pocket, then throwing on the run… accurately. Suddenly, the guy who couldn’t seem to find his place in the run-centric Tech offense was now the focal point of it. And when he wasn’t delivering pinpoint passes, he was taking off for big gains on the ground. He became one of the game’s most lethal dual-threats, with 3,500 total yards and 30 scores.
Of course now, he has to duplicate that. Or better yet, top it. All with just one returning starter on the offensive line. On top of that, he’s got no experience at running game, and lost his top two receiving targets. So, no, this is not an easy task. But there’s a maturity you can see in Thomas that tells you he’ll be able to handle himself. He’s the center of the Hokies’ world right now — the end all, be all of their offensive production, and their best chance to take yet another shot at a ACC title. If you ask him though, he’s just another guy on the field (via the Collegiate Times):
“I’m not one to really go out and be in the limelight. It’s kind of weird to see myself on TV or have people come up to me and want to take pictures and get autographs, it’s still weird for me. I’m still getting adjusted to it, but I guess I’ve gotta get used to it. I’m more of a homebody than anything else. I like to hide a little bit. But, it’s not bad.”
“Not bad?!” Virginia Tech’s QB: Humble, shy and the most important player on the field.