NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk’s Noel Thomas Jr. summed up his feelings in one word as he Tweeted: "Lionhearted."
Thomas signed a free agent deal with the Detroit Lions for a chance to play in the NFL.
He was a bit more long-winded on Instagram: "Been one hell of a ride so far & I'm far from finished. Grateful for the opportunity to sign an Undrafted free agent deal with the Lions! Been counted out my entire life. Watch me grow," said Thomas, who holds the record at UConn for receptions with 100 in his senior year.
Thomas, who stands 6 feet tall and weighs 205 pounds, is a wide receiver. He played high school football for his dad, the coach at St. Luke's School in New Canaan, then attended the University of Connecticut for college ball.
In his freshman season, he played in five games, making three catches for 32 yards. Thomas started five of 12 games played as a sophomore, leading the team with four receiving touchdowns on his 26 receptions that went for 305 yards.
He was the Huskies' top receiver as a junior with 54 receptions for 719 yards and three touchdowns.
Thomas broke out during a senior campaign that saw him set the school record with 100 receptions. He finished with 1,179 yards on the year, along with three touchdowns, and rushed for 60 yards on 13 attempts.