As we transition to the defensive side of the ball for this weeks preview, Curlee Thomas IV becomes the center of attention. As you’ll see once I get into the player comparison for Curlee, Cal seems to not only be getting a lot more athletic along the offensive and defensive lines, they are also getting a lot smarter. Now it is time to get to the meat and potatoes of what Curlee brings to the table and how he complements the rest of his teammates.
The Bio and Meausreables:
6 ft 3 inches
Nolan Catholic High School (via Keller, TX)
What is Cal getting with Curlee Thomas IV?
Curlee Thomas is an averaged sized defensive end for the Pac 12 in general, but his role on this Cal team seems rather obvious. From his film, you can see how much he is around just to make plays or capitalize on other people making plays, simply just by being in the right spot at the right time. Cal could definitely use some of that luck. What Curlee does really well is get off the line with his first step, especially for someone of his size in high school. He also possesses a good knack for not over committing to the football, whether it be on zone read assignments or play action, as seen at the 1:50 mark here. His eye discipline and ability to be in a controlled chaos state of mind can’t be understated. His role on this team to me seems like an OLB in the mold of Tevin Paul, who in 2018 really impressed me with how aware he was and how he was quietly visible all over the field, whether it being a sack in the backfield or forcing someone into an adverse running lane. Players who do the complementary things are like finding diamonds in the rough, which is what we may have on our hands here. Curlee is the type of player that can save a yard here or a yard there and considering the 2019 Big Game, one yard can make the whole difference.
Where can Curlee improve?
I think Curlee Thomas could learn to develop more pass rush moves, as bullrushing with your hands doesn’t work solely at the D1 level. I’m on record as stating that power is great, but solely relying on it will not work unless you are Kayvon Thibodeaux. He comes in with a solid frame with room to grow as well, as he currently has a Cameron Goode style body type. With Curlee’s desire to use power, putting on a few pounds should do the job and I’m certain the strength and conditioning program will help him out in that regard. As for his run support, it is a bit of an unknown at this point but that’s the story of a lot of signees, you just don’t really know what you have until you see them out on the field. He possess a lot of tools and a football IQ that has me intrigued, which honestly might get him some rotational snaps or special teams snaps in the fall.
Curlee’s tape: https://www.hudl.com/profile/14863073/Curlee-Thomas
Best of luck to Curlee as he starts his Cal career!
All that has been written on this site has me WAY too excited for Curlee's arrival. If he lives up to HALF my expectations, he's going to be a huge asset to the team. Let's get this season started!!!! : /
Isn't Thomas too light to be a DE? Nobody on the Cal roster who plays DE weighs close to 235 pounds. For instance, DE Ethan Saunders weighs 280, a typical weight for a DE. At 235 pounds, Thomas is much closer to a linebacker status in terms of his weight.