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Azareye’h Thomas hoping to bring Niceville success to FSU
Azareye'h Thomas entered the Florida State program as one of the top athletes in the Class of 2022. (Credit: Chasity Maynard/Tallahassee Democrat / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Azareye’h Thomas hoping to bring Niceville success to FSU

NICEVILLE, Fla. (BVM) – The arrival of players like Azareye’h Thomas, Kimo Makaneole, and Khalil Jacobs created an easy justification of the rise in Niceville’s recent high school football success over the past few seasons. Thomas, now in his first season at Florida State, is hoping he can make a similar impact on the Seminoles’ football team.

The former Eagles two-way star helped Niceville become an annual contender during his three years starting on varsity. During his sophomore year in 2019, Thomas became a crucial part of the team’s winning ways as the Eagles jumped out to a 12-1 record while reaching the 7A regional finals. In 2020, Niceville reached the state semifinals for the first time since 2015 as Thomas posted 695 receiving yards and nine touchdowns on the offensive side.

The breakout sophomore and junior campaigns brought national attention for the then-Eagles senior who had Division I offers from over 30 programs. In a pivotal senior season, the Niceville do-it-all star rushed for 421 yards, caught 33 passes for 438 yards and 17 total touchdowns, and even added two interceptions as a defensive back. The campaign helped the Eagles to their third straight deep postseason run, before bowing out in the regional semifinals.

The No. 121 player in the Class of 2022, and one of the top ranked athletes in the country according to 247Sports, enters the Florida State program with high expectations. In the team’s opening game against Duquesne, Thomas saw his first collegiate action combining for one assisted tackle. In Week 2 of the 2022 season, he even linked up postgame with one of his former Eagles’ teammates.

At 6-foot-2, 188 pounds, Thomas has primarily played as a defensive back for the team and quickly caught the attention of his head coach during the Seminoles offseason and early ramp up into the season. 

“He plays with a great deal of confidence for a young player,” Florida State coach Mike Norvell told the Tallahassee Democrat. “Anybody can have a good attitude when it’s going well. But whenever you get beat on a play – he’s had a couple of those, too. The way he’s able to transition to the next play, that’s a learned skill for some guys. 

“A lot of guys come in, they’ve been the best guys and they don’t experience much defeat in practice or games when they are in high school. Then they come to college, and it’s a different game.”

As the season rolls on, Thomas is hoping he can see even more playing time on the field as a true freshman. No matter what, he’s going to have quite the support system watching back home.

This is an unedited user writing submission. The views, information, or opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Best Version Media or its employees.

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