Duke Thomas didn’t need long to make an impact at the University of Texas as an athlete out of Copperas Cove.
The high school quarterback earned a starting position in the Longhorn secondary as a sophomore and, this last season, was a pillar in the unit, which was inundated with young talent his senior season.
Now, Thomas is looking to make a similar early impression on the Houston Texans after signing with the AFC South champions as an undrafted free agent.
And going from the seasoned veteran to the green rookie has been a transition for Thomas but also one that he’s enjoyed.
“It’s definitely different,” he said. “Having the opportunity to learn from vets and then learn more stuff is good.”
After earning All-Big 12 twice at Texas, Thomas is excited about his rookie season.
While the role of NFL rookie can be a challenging one for any player, Thomas said learning won’t be anything new for him as a football player.
“No matter where you go, you never stop learning, so even being a senior in college I was still learning new things every day,” Thomas said. “So it’s always fun.”
On Saturday, he was coaching at the Centex Pro Football and Cheer Camp at Leo Buckley Stadium.
Thomas was fresh off of attending the Texans’ organized team activities and said it went well for him.
Now, as he prepares for his first NFL training camp, his goals are clear.
“I’m just trying to do my job — do my job, be a good teammate and just work hard,” Thomas said. “Those are the top three things coaches tell us about, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
And while Thomas will need to make a good impression early in his Texans career, the former Copperas Cove star wasn’t sweating it Saturday.
After all, it’s not like he hasn’t done it before.