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TCU commit Dylan Thomas didn’t let injury end his Paschal connection

TCU Commit Dylan Thomas Talks Knee Rehab

TCU wide receiver commit Dylan Thomas talks about a torn MCL that ended his senior football season at Paschal after three games, his recovery and decision to play basketball as a part of the rehab process. (Video: Travis L. Brown)
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TCU wide receiver commit Dylan Thomas talks about a torn MCL that ended his senior football season at Paschal after three games, his recovery and decision to play basketball as a part of the rehab process. (Video: Travis L. Brown)

When Paschal senior quarterback Dylan Thomas heard the two pops, he knew his football season was over.

While attempting to push a pile that held his running back into the end zone, the pile fell back on the outside of Thomas’ left leg, pinning it below the knee in a direction it wasn’t made to bend.

“As I came to the sideline, I just broke down immediately because I already knew,” Thomas said.

He can make you look like a genius coach even though the play may have broken down.

Fort Worth Paschal coach Matt Miracle on Dylan Thomas

Having already committed to play wide receiver for TCU, it would have been easy for Thomas to begin his preparation for Saturdays in Amon G. Carter Stadium.

However, with all he had already done for Paschal, he wasn’t through with his community.

Before his senior season, Paschal was left with a head coaching vacancy after a 2-8 season.

When asked what he would like to see in the school’s search for a coach, Thomas made it clear that the program already held a capable leader.

Shortly after, Paschal assistant coach Matt Miracle was named head coach of the Panthers.

In 3 1/2 games, Thomas accounted for 14 total touchdowns, which would lead the team at the end of the season.

“I think I owe a lot to him for standing up,” Miracle said. “That was pretty impressive that a young man would stand up for somebody. Here I am now with the job.”

In 3 1/2 games under Miracle, Thomas accounted for 14 total touchdowns, which would lead the team at the end of the season.

“He can make you look like a genius coach even though the play may have broken down,” Miracle said. “It looks nothing like you drew up on the board, but he’s running 70 yards for a touchdown untouched. That’s all on him being a pure athlete. They don’t come around very often and he’s a special one.”

After the injury, Thomas showed up to every practice and would hobble his way to midfield on crutches to represent his team as a captain for the coin toss.

His dedication to his rehab program allowed him to walk to midfield in full uniform and pads for the final game of his senior season Nov. 5 against Arlington.

When he returned to the sideline, his helmet had been packed away in case he had any thought of giving the recovering knee one more go, Thomas said with a laugh.

While the 6-foot-1, three-star recruit could have mentally checked out of Panthers sports with sights on his college career, Thomas walking on the field in Paschal purple and black one last time was one of the best moments of his high school career.

“It felt real again,” Thomas said.

Now, just weeks after being cleared to resume athletic activity, Thomas is leading the Panthers basketball team without any mental hurdles an injured leg can create.

“That’s just another example of the kid’s will and his mental toughness,” Paschal basketball coach David Watson said. “The kid’s not even thinking about his knee right now. He’s just laying it all on the line for his team.”

It’s just home. I honestly don’t think there’s a better place for a young adult to continue his life, right here at home.

Thomas on playing at TCU

Since Thomas has returned to action on the basketball court, TCU co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham has visited a practice to see how Thomas’ rehabilitation has progressed. He told Thomas he would come to a few games before the season ended, Thomas said.

Soon, Thomas will finally end his time at Paschal for good and move on to the bright lights of the TCU football program.

Seven players on TCU’s returning roster hail Fort Worth as their home, but none as close as Thomas.

“It’s just home,” Thomas said of TCU. “I honestly don’t think there’s a better place for a young adult to continue his life, right here at home.”

So, when your house and high school are visible from the top of Amon G. Carter Stadium, you’re never done being the pride of the community.

“TCU’s getting a good one. I don’t want this season to get over, but I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for him,” Watson said.

Travis L. Brown: tbrown7137@gmail.com, @Travis_L_Brown.

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