“Championship” — that best sums up senior quarterback Pete Thomas’ goal in his final collegiate season at the Louisiana-Monroe. The fifth-year senior established that as his goal early on in his time as a Warhawk. So far, that goal is looking good, having helped to lead his team to an undefeated overall record.
“We haven’t played a complete game on offense yet, and that’s disappointing, but we are continuing to work on that,” Thomas said. “We are right where we want to be, though: 1-0 in conference play. That’s a start to getting our goal of a conference championship.
“This weekend, though, we have the biggest opportunity by playing at LSU.”
The opportunity to lead the Warhawks into Tiger Stadium on Saturday has been one with several twists and turns.
The California native was an Arizona State commitment before signing with Colorado State. A coaching change resulted in a change in offensive schemes for the Rams, leaving Thomas to look for a good fit for his skills. He found that fit across at North Carolina State, playing two seasons in the Wolfpack’s program. When a coaching change happened at that school, the offensive changes again left him looking for a place to fit in.
“There were 30 quarterbacks that reached out, looking for a place to transfer to,” ULM coach Todd Berry said. “Out of those, really only two were of interest to us, and after some long talks with Pete, we were happy to have him come here.”
Berry’s leadership of the program and the players he met on his visit to campus sold him on playing his final season at ULM.
“I wouldn’t want to spend my last year with another group of guys, or anywhere else,” Thomas said. “I was sold by the confidence shown by coach Berry, the assistants and just everyone around the program. I saw that this was a place that we could do big things at.”
Over the summer, Thomas worked with the ULM receivers to learn the playbook, get route timing down and lead the team through drills. The off-the-field work has paid off, as he is currently third in passing yardage in the young season with a 287-yard average and the second most in an individual game with 384.
“I don’t look at what I do in games; I really just focus on our conference record, knowing that if we want to obtain our goal of winning a conference championship, we have to win a conference game,” Thomas said.
The Warhawks and Thomas will take the week off following the LSU game before continuing their conference title quest against Troy on Sept. 27.