orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

January 6, 2013

Thomas intercepts RG3; huge year continues

Gabriel Pruett
The Orange Leader

WASHINGTON D.C. —  

Robert Griffin III had the Washington Redskins up 14-0 early and the crowd in our nation’s capital was excited.

West Orange-Stark graduate Earl Thomas is having too great of a year with the Seattle Seahawks to have it end in the first round.

So Thomas intercepted Griffin, the Seahawks rallied and Seattle moved on to face Atlanta after a 24-14 win over the Redskins.

It was Thomas’ fourth interception of the year, a year in which Thomas has been named to his second straight NFL Pro Bowl.

This is Thomas’ third year in the NFL after having a stellar two year run at the University of Texas.

Thomas’ proudest moment was the birth of first child, daughter Kaleigh Rose Thomas.

Sunday’s win, the second playoff win for Thomas in his three years, but the Monday night his daughter was born after a win against the Packers was the biggest night he could have at 23 years old.

“My daughter has opened my eyes into a whole new way of thinking,” Thomas said on Saturday. “She’s beautiful and she is always on my mind when I am on the field. I never want to let her down. I want to do right for her and all the other kids who look up to me.”

Thomas’ stardom is certainly beginning to take shape. There are the Pro Bowl selections, the rising jersey sales and his time being seen on television while even on the sideline of Seahawks games.

One player Thomas and the rest of the NFL is getting used to seeing is rookie Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

Wilson threw for 187 yards and one touchdown Sunday in a showdown of rookie quarterbacks, who along with Andrew Luck, have their cities excited for the future.

“Overall our guy Wilson is probably playing the best football in the league right now,” Thomas said. “He is one of those first ones in, last one out guys. He has come up huge for us this year.”

Thomas intercepted Griffin in the second quarter as the Seahawks were trying to slow down the Redskins. Griffin was later taken out of the game after reinjuring his knee.

The interception kept Washington from scoring and also allowed Seattle to kick a field goal right before halftime with the Redskins holding a 14-13 lead.

“I want that Super Bowl,” Thomas said Saturday. “Why else would you play? There is no pressure on our team. We don’t worry about what anyone says about us. We go out and play football.”

If 2013 is as good to Thomas as 2012 was, the smile on Orange’s favorite son will be even bigger this year.

“It has been a good year for No. 29,” Thomas said. “I have to always thank God because he truly keeps blessing me and my family. A lot has happened in the last year. I always want to make all the people who have helped me proud of what I do on the field. I carry all them with me.”