Just as he has done for the past eight years, Thomas ran a free football camp for kids on Saturday at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss.
“It’s crazy to think that this started eight years ago,” Thomas told the Hattiesburg American. “There are now kids in the camp who I went to school with their parents. It means a lot to come back and see the kids and have a good time.”
About 600 kids made their way to the camp this year, bringing the total number of campers over those eight years up over 6,000. Thomas, who led the camp with Patriots teammate Gary Guyton, is happy to help out all the kids who come to his alma mater for the camp, but he doesn’t want the kids developing bad habits — either on the field or off.
“The kids need something to do,” Thomas said. “I think that’s one of the things they look forward to every year. Now that they have just one camp to look forward to [after the death of Mississippi native and former NFL quarterback Steve McNair], it’s that much more important to them. As long as I can do it, I’ll continue to do it.”