Lawrence Thomas is used to change.
A redshirt freshman, Thomas came to MSU as one of the nation’s top linebacker prospects. But in spring camp, Thomas was asked to move to defensive end, being thrust into a new position before he’d even stepped on the field.
This fall, he was asked to do it again — but this time he didn’t just change positions, he changed the side of the ball he lines up on.
In week two against Central Michigan, Thomas took the field as a fullback, recording his first career catch for seven yards in a 41-7 victory over the Chippewas.
At the time, head coach Mark Dantonio said Thomas slowly would be transitioned to the offense, while still working out with the defense.
Three weeks later against No. 12 Ohio State, Thomas got his first start at fullback, and Dantonio has been impressed with his growth.
“He’s learning plays as we go — he learns a couple more every week,” he said. “But I do think he’s an outstanding football player and I think he has a tremendous upside here in our program, whether it be on the defensive or offensive side of the ball.”
In high school at Detroit Renaissance, Thomas played a variety of positions. In addition to his linebacker duties, Thomas played at defensive end, running back, tight end and wide receiver, while also handling punting duties.