It was a decision all of Hokie Nation had waited on.
Despite an up and down season, junior quarterback
But Thomas made his decision public and official this afternoon, taking the unusual step of announcing it live on ESPNU's College Football Live: he'll be returning to the Hokies.
Thomas said he told coach
"He was extremely excited, him and all of the [other coaches]," Thomas said on ESPNU of telling the eldest Beamer. "Coach Stinespring and coach Shane Beamer were extremely excited that I'm coming back. Those are the guys that I primarily talked to. They all said that, you could go to the draft and be a good pick but we want you to come back, obviously. When I told them yesterday, they were extremely excited, smiling, laughing and giving me high fives. They told me that they were happy to have their leader back in that room and I'm happy to be back."
Projections have varied on Thomas ranging from an early-round, to mid or late-round pick, but Thomas didn't want to chance an unwanted draft pick. He also didn't like leaving Virginia Tech after a season of struggles and its worst in 20 years.
"A lot of it is I think I have a lot to work on," Thomas said on ESPNU. "I think we can get better. Leaving a program 7-6, especially a program like Virginia Tech, we have a legacy of winning a lot of games and ACC championships. It kinda left a bad taste in my mouth and I want to come back and have a better season this year."
Thomas pointed to a chance to play Alabama in the season-opener next season as one motivating factor, but he also told ESPNU he has plenty to still work on.
"Like any quarterback, they'll preach accuracy," Thomas said. "For me, I need to be a lot more consistent. I had a couple of throws, or a lot of throws get away from me this year. I've just gotta take care of the little things and hopefully that'll make me a better quarterback and make our team become a better team."