Coppell alum Thomas selected No. 3 overall in NFL Draft


Thomas Rousseau

Coppell High School 2014 graduate Solomon Thomas was selected No. 3 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. Thomas was a former four-star recruit and Stanford star before forgoing his final two years of eligibility to enter the draft.

Marcus Krum, Executive Sports Editor

Walking up towards the stage at Philadelphia Art Museum, Solomon Thomas breathed a sigh of relief. At the beginning of what was ended up as a wild night, Thomas was one of the first prospects to make the jump to the next level. He was going to be in the NFL.


The former Coppell defensive end and Stanford star was selected No. 3 overall by the San Francisco 49ers. Selected after only Texas A&M defensive end and former Arlington Martin standout Myles Garrett and former North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, Thomas cemented his status as one of the top defensive prospects of this year’s draft class.


“The biggest thing about Solomon is people recognize his incredible talent but people don’t realize how hard he works,” said Coppell ISD Athletic Director Joe McBride, who was the head coach when Thomas played at CHS. “What makes people that great is more than talent. I knew he had the talent, but when I got around him, I realized he had the work ethic, the character, the integrity, the leadership skills.”


Thomas, a redshirt sophomore at Stanford in the 2016 season, decided to forgo his last two years of eligibility after a stellar year with the Cardinal caused him to skyrocket up draft boards. His signature performance, winning the MVP of the Sun Bowl while recording the game-winning sack, put on full display his skills at Coppell that earned him 12.5 sacks, 72 tackles and a four-star grade from 247sports.


McBride has been able to watch Thomas progress all the way from a dominant middle school player to a top three pick in the NFL draft


“It’s incredible,” McBride said. “To see the fruit of his labor pay off is just a lot of fun to watch. I’m happy for him. It just seems like yesterday we were out here [practicing] together, and now he’s fixing to be an instant millionaire. It’s pretty outstanding. In the eye of every kid, it becomes achievable when you see someone from your hometown do it.”


And millionaire indeed he will be, as projections currently have Thomas making around $28-29 million in a four year deal, including what is expected to be an $18-plus million signing bonus. However, his high motor and freakish athletic skills could carry him far beyond.


“In the pros, you’re in the elite of the elite,” McBride said. “There’s Solomon Thomas’s everywhere. To stand out, you got to have incredible effort and your motor has to go. Honestly, Solomon believes in that. He believes he owes himself that, his teammates that, his coaches that … He always practiced like he was one bad play from being benched, although we were never going to bench him.”


On Sunday, October 26, the San Francisco 49ers will take on the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium. With ties to both the Bay Area and the Dallas Metroplex, Thomas’s performance at the next level will be watched by many.