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Cal Football

Bear Insider Video: Cal OLB Commit Curlee Thomas IV

September 16, 2021

One of the earlier commits in Cal’s 2022 class, Nolan Catholic (Fort Worth, Texas) OLB Curlee Thomas‍ took his official visit to Cal the first weekend in June and ended up committing to the Bears three weeks later.

“I thought it was really good,” said Thomas of his visit. “One of the things I liked the most was the weather. It’s a lot better than Texas weather, it’s not as dry or humid. And also, it was pretty liberal. The people down there were really friendly and kind. It’s just a really nice vibe.” 

Thomas has had a chance to meet some of his future teammates on his official visit and online through the ’22 group chat. He was joined on his trip to Cal by eventual commits Jackson Brown‍ (San Ramon Valley OT), Nate Burrell‍ (St. John Bosco DE) and Jaxson Moi‍ (Cathedral Catholic DE), who will be playing in the bay area Friday as his Cathedral squad travels north to take on perennial power De La Salle Friday.

“They seem like a pretty cool group of guys,” said Thomas. “Everybody’s pretty chill, I feel like in a year or two, we’re all going to be pretty good friends.” 

Ironically, when his future team made the trip out to Fort Worth to play TCU Saturday, Thomas and his Nolan Catholic squad were in California, playing Rancho Santa Margarita. 

Despite the 31-13 loss to the Eagles, the trip west was still a positive experience for Thomas and his teammates overall.

“Yes, sir. We did some fun things,” said Thomas of the trop west. “We went to beach volleyball, we did some things around the hotel. We did our practice and things, of course, but it was a pretty nice experience overall.” 

After leading the states in sacks last season, earning 1st Team All-State, Thomas is off to a strong start his senior season, with seven tackles, four pass deflections, two forced fumbles and four hurries, often playing inside instead of at his natural DE or OLB position.

Nolan Catholic head coach Dave Beaudin on Thomas:

“A really smart, cerebral kid, with a tremendous motor, said Beaudin of Thomas. “What you see is what you get, all the time. Every college coach I’ve talked to about him makes sure to include this. He’s got one gear, it’s full-go all the time. If anything, you gotta throttle it back, which is the way you want it. You’d rather have that than the opposite. He's always full-go, got a tremendous motor.

“Obviously, from a physical standpoint, he’s got all the skill sets. He’s long, strong, he’s got speed. Really, I think what separates him, is that he’s a smart guy and he’s got a motor. Put it all together, you’ve got a pretty special player.”

Also a strong student, Thomas his his sights set on big things academically at Cal.

“I’ve been having a huge interest in engineering," said Thomas. “It’s one of the reasons I’ve wanted to go there. But, I’ve also been thinking about things like digital media, animation, and perhaps even film, photography, that type of stuff.” 

As he sets his sites on his future plans after the season, what's the 3 star OLB most looking forward to?

“One of the biggest things, you know, I’ve been in Texas for about 13 years of my life,” said Thomas. “I moved here from Arkansas when I was three, so I think getting a new change of scenery and pace, going to a new state, I think that’s one of the things I’m most excited for.” 

Other stories:

Bear Insider Ultimate Insider Podcast E9: Justin Wilcox on TCU, Video and Transcript

Wednesday Report: Sirmon, Musgrave and Wilcox Talk TCU, Sac State

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