Number: #80 | Hometown: Baltimore, MD | Height: 6033 | Weight: 256 | Forty: 4.70E | Hand: 0958 | Arm: 8000 | All Star: SR Bowl | Combine: Yes | Year: 2018
The JUCO transfer had a brief career at Indiana but managed to catch the eyes of many NFL scouts in 2017. His athleticism is what stands out most amongst what is considered to be a relatively weak tight end class. He was most effective when attacking the seam and showed the ability to tack on yards after the catch, finishing with a 15 yard per catch receiving average, which ranked 11th in the nation for tight ends. He does an excellent job using hesitation and double moves to disguise his route, while demonstrating the willingness to fight through the defender at the top of the route to help gain separation. He is not a polished run blocker at this point of his development and his hand placement leaves a lot to be desired, as he tends to lead with his shoulder at times, making it difficult for him to sustain his blocks. He will need to work on fine tuning his routes, at times they were rounded off and does seem a bit slow at times while running the routes. There are questions as to whether this is due to not being comfortable with the route tree or lack of effort at times. This could partially explain the limited production, as he finished his Indiana career with just 28 catches over a two-year span. However, there were times when Thomas was open but Lagow locked in on his first read and missed big play opportunities. He disappointed with his performance throughout the week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile. His athleticism will appeal to coaches; how he tests versus how he performed on film will need to be weighed and valued for each organization but his ability to play both in-line and in the slot will help only his value come April, as he projects to be a mid-round pick.
2017 Honors: Honorable mention All-Big Ten … John Mackey Award Tight End of the Week (Georgia Southern) … named to the Senior Bowl Watch List.
2017 (Senior): Finished second among Big Ten tight ends with 15.0 yards per reception, finished with five receiving touchdowns (T-12th nationally), and was fourth in receiving yardage (37.6) and catches per game (2.5) … ranked first on Indiana in average per reception, second with the five TDs, third with 376 yards and fourth with 25 catches … TDs rank second and yardage seventh on IU’s single-season tight ends lists … started all 10 games in which he appeared … led the team in yardage three times … made four receptions for a career-high 93 yards, with a 57-yard score, in the Rutgers win … hauled in a career-high-tying five balls for 91 yards at No. 4 Penn State … caught five passes for 53 yards and a career-high two touchdowns in the season opener against No. 2 Ohio State … added a career-long 71-yard TD and finished with two receptions for 79 yards in the Georgia Southern victory.
2016 (Junior): Played in all 13 games with one start at No. 10 Nebraska … made three receptions for 28 yards … caught two balls for 26 yards in the Foster Farms Bowl vs. No. 19 Utah.
Junior college: Tight end for head coach Joe Osovet at Nassau Community College in Garden City, N.Y. … rated the No. 2 junior college tight end nationally by ESPN … all-conference selection caught 23 balls for 433 yards and three touchdowns in eight games in 2015 … team captain led the Northeast Football Conference (NFC) with 18.8 yards per reception and finished fourth with 54.1 yards per game … Nassau captured the 2014 NFC title, won the Valley of the Sun Bowl and finished with a perfect 10-0 record … made four catches for 88 yards and two scores in four games as a true freshman.
Prep/Personal: Tight end for head coach William Brandon at Digital Harbor High School in Baltimore … team most valuable player … named Digital Harbor’s most improved player … three-year football letterwinner … also lettered in basketball and track and field … parents are deceased … lived with his eight siblings and raised by his older siblings since he was nine years old … born on June 6, 1996, Ian Thomas is a criminal justice major.