Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas typically keeps to himself, but has found it increasingly difficult to do so in recent weeks. As the catalyst for the Yellow Jackets’ 5-0 start, he has been the subject of about 15 interview requests through the Tech sports communications office in the past four weeks, including national outlets such as Sports Illustrated.
In a group interview conducted Tuesday, Thomas shared thoughts about the team’s surprising start and his own play. The Jackets play Duke on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Q: What’s your comfort level with the offense?
A: I feel pretty comfortable. I’m not perfect, so I’m not going to get every (read) right, so just going out there, correcting my mistakes when I do get it wrong and just trying my best to be 100 percent on reads. That’s all.
Q: You’ve been doing a lot of interviews lately. I don’t think you thrive on this sort of thing, but what has all of the media attention been like?
A: Nothing different. It’s just being my same self, talking with y’all. Once I’m done, just go on back with the boys, being myself.
Q: On Saturday night after beating Miami, did you take a moment to soak in that environment and just enjoy the win?
A: I enjoy every win. To get a win, it’s big, especially further down the road as we’re undefeated. It gets harder each week. We’ve just got to go out each week and get better.
Q: What’s something you’ll remember from after the game?
A: I would say just the fans being on the field. It was exciting for them, an exciting moment. They’re showing that they care, they want to be there.
Q: How do you balance passing with the run game, which was so effective against Miami?
A: If the option is working that good, it’s kind of hard to get away from it. We do want to target those guys a little bit more if the chance allows, but like I said, if the option’s working, we’re going to keep running it.
Q: Are you personally playing like you thought you would?
A: I feel like it. I’m confident in myself. I don’t talk too much about myself, but I feel like I can do great things. I feel like the guys that I have around me are also great players, special players. We have a special group this year and we’d like to finish it out strong.
Q: Coach (Paul Johnson) was saying that (Monday) on the way to practice, some of your teammates were busting on you a little bit.
A: Yeah, they always give me a hard time. I guess it just comes with it.
Q: What were they saying?
A: I’m going to keep that between us. (as he laughed)
Q: Coach was saying he thinks you’re getting more confident in making the reads and seeing things before the snap. Is that the way you feel, comparing game one to game five?
A: I think so. It’s not that I didn’t know what I was doing at the beginning. It’s just getting in the game flow. It’s been over two years since I really legit played in a game, in this style of offense, where the tempo’s a little bit slower. So just going out there, getting more reps. As the weeks come along, I feel like I’m improving.
Q: People always talk about the game slowing down (with more experience). Has there been some of that?
A: Yeah, I think so, just being able to see things better, pre-snap and after the snap. Being more consistent. Consistency is the biggest part, especially in this offense, to stay on time. Just going out each week, getting better. The whole team has to get better each week if you want to go the places we want to go to.
Q: What did it mean to be voted captain?
A: I felt like that was a special moment, just (showing that) the guys respect me. They felt like, I guess, I had the ability to lead them. It’s not anything I asked for, it’s just what they were seeing. I just try to go out there and prove myself to them.
Q: Who did you vote for?
A: I voted for ‘Shaq’ (guard Shaquille Mason), ‘Q’ (linebacker Quayshawn Nealy) and ‘Dre’ (wide receiver DeAndre Smelter).
Q: How tall are you?
A: I say I’m 5-10, 5-11, whichever number you want to choose.
Q: 5-10 or 5-11. You sure about that?
A: Tall enough. Let’s say that.