Ian Thomas
image source

Ian Thomas is an American football tight end who was drafted into the National Football League (NFL) in the fourth round of the 2018 Draft. Before he got into the NFL, Ian played both football and basketball at Digital Harbor High School before moving on to the University of Indiana for his college football career.

He was subsequently selected by the Panthers during the NFL Draft. Speaking of the young player, the Panthers general manager, Marty Hurney, described his as a player who possesses the complete skill set of a complete tight end. Read on…

Ian Thomas’ Bio

The tight end was born on June 6, 1995, Baltimore, Maryland. He was a football and basketball player at Digital Harbor High School but he received no offer letters from Division 1 colleges so he ended up at Nassau Community College in New York from where he graduated in 2016. Afterward, he enrolled at Indiana University for his junior year and after playing for two seasons, he became a became a highly sought-after recruit, ultimately making his way into the Big Ten.

As a junior in 2016, Ian Thomas played all 13 games as a blocking tight end. He recorded just 3 catches for 28 yards and no touchdowns. However, he played with a new zeal during his senior year in 2017, recording a 71-yard touchdown in a game against Georgia Southern. Consequently, he became a pro prospect, earning the Mackey Award Tight End of the Week. He made an overall of 25 receptions for 376 yards and 5 touchdowns in his senior year.

He eventually accepted an invitation to play in the 2018 Senior Bowl and increased his draft stock with his impressive performance during Senior Bowl practices. Ian later played in the Reese’s Senior Bowl and was part of Houston Texans’ head coach Bill O’Brien’s South team that won the North team.

Ready to get into the NFL, Ian Thomas took part in the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and performed all combine drills except the bench press which he chose to skip as a result of a pre-existing shoulder injury. He made a statement at the Combine, tying for the fifth fastest 40-yard dash among tight ends. At the end of the drills, Ian’s Combine results were one of the tops among the tight end group. This physically set him above par compared to other members of the class.

He also attended Indiana’s pro day but only ran positional drills as he chose to stand on his combine numbers for the other drills. He went on to also attend private meetings and workouts with the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars. At the end of the pre-draft process, a greater number of experts projected Ian to be selected in the second or third round of the NFL draft. While DraftScout.com and CBS Sports ranked the former Indiana player as the fifth best tight end prospect in the draft, Scouts Inc ranked him sixth.

Ian Thomas was finally drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He was the 101st overall pick and the 6th tight end selected in that year. His deal with the Panthers was sealed on May 10, 2018, as the team signed him to a 4-year contract worth $3.20 million, including a signing bonus of $747,994.

Debuting in the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, Ian recorded 4 receiving yards on his first two career receptions.

Family, Wife

Ian Thomas was born to Earl (father) and Martha (mother) and was raised in the east side of Baltimore, a neighborhood riddled with crime. He was one of the nine children of his parents and was particularly close to his mother. Being a quiet child who did not like to talk much, Ian received special attention from his mom who always treated him like a baby just to ensure that he was okay.

Unfortunately, the special love and attention from his mother were cut short in 2004 when she died on Ian’s 8th birthday of kidney and liver failure which resulted from an abscessed tooth. His father had no choice but to take up the difficult responsibility of being both father and mother to his nine children. He worked hard to provide for his family and also ruled his family with an iron fist in order not to lose any of his kids to the craziness which characterized their neighborhood.

Ian Thomas
Ian and his grandmother image source

Just as Ian and his siblings were still trying to get used to life without their mom, death struck again and this time, it was their dad who died from a fatal heart attack. At the age of nine, Ian became an orphan and the family which had always lived together under one roof were forced to split up with some of his siblings sent to live with an uncle.

Unable to stomach this unpleasant development, Ian’s eldest brother Clif Farmer, who was 19 at the time, filed for full custody of his three siblings (Ashanta, Earl Jr. and Ian Thomas) and was granted his wish. Faced with the responsibility of taking care of his younger ones, Cliff got a job. The teenage father raised of his three siblings in the Park Heights neighborhood in West/Northwest Baltimore and just like his parents, he was tough on them just to keep them away from the streets.

Even though they were close from an early age, Ian and Clif became even closer. Clif described Ian as his right-hand man while the footballer said his older brother was like his father figure, someone he would go to for anything. Ian Thomas developed into a star football and basketball player during his high school with the guidance of his elder brother and today, the rest is history.

See Also: John Ross (NFL) Biography, Draft Profile, Career Stats and Family

Growing up as an orphan, in an environment known for crime and violence, would have made it very difficult if not impossible for any young man to get to where Ian Thomas is today, but he has proved to many that coming from a seemingly negative background is not an excuse to settle for a life of mediocrity.

There is no information about the tight end’s relationship at the moment so we assume he is still single.

Height, Weight, Body Measurements

The Carolina Panthers fourth-round draft pick is not someone that can be missed when he walks into a room. He is 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) tall, weighs 259 pounds (117 kg), has an arm length of 34 1/8 inches and has massive 11.5-inch hands, the prototypical size for an NFL tight end.

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