Among the elite youth athletes from the 2023 class is RB/S Joaquin Thomas who recently received an invite to NextGen's invite-only main event, The Show. Thomas received this invitation after being named MVP at the NextGen Southern California Regional Showcase.
The San Diego, CA native loves the game of football and is always excited to get the opportunity to compete.
Most importantly, he enjoys being a part of a team.
"My favorite part of playing football is that it’s a team sport. I like to be part of something that makes you have to work as a team to achieve the win. When playing football, you become a part of a team with other kids your age from different background," Thomas told Youth1.com
"I like that my position, is one of the important position on the team. It’s a plus that football is a physical sport; I love how it keeps me in shape and help me with physically demanding things in life," he added.
For those who are unfamiliar with Joaquin Thomas, he's a dynamic athlete on both sides of the ball. He plays both Running Back and Safety, and has a nose for the big play.
Standing at 5'8" 155 lbs., Thomas is a threat every time the ball touches his hands. He can make plays out the backfield and he can make plays catching the football, as he has great hands.
"As a Running Back I get to use my power, and size to ram my way through the linebackers and run towards the end zone. I enjoy the catch me if you can aspect of it. I enjoy figuring out which hole would be best to gain the most yards in a quick manner of time and that I get to display my speed on the field," Thomas said.
On defense, Thomas is relentless in pursuit of the ball from the Safety position. He thrives at being a ballhawk.
"The position of a Safety allows me to be a ballhawk and control the field with my eyes, which allows me to scan the whole field and move to a position that can be the most effective," Thomas said.
"With both positions and the game football as a whole, I love displaying my speed and footwork towards any threat on the field," he continued.
Thomas has many strengths on the football field that allow him to be a real difference-maker.
"My strengths on the field are I have the ability to look at the field and analyze the game quickly and make the best play decision. Speed is a strength I use against my opponents and I am able score and defend when needed. My speed allows me to break loose from tackles and also to catch and quickly close the gap on any threat," Thomas said.
"My change of direction is one of my strengths; my footwork helps me to find openings that are not usually there. My physical strength allows me to stop any defender by any means necessary," he added.
Receiving an invitation to NextGen's The Show is a testament to Thomas' ability on the football field. He is appreciative of earning the golden ticket to the main event.
"It felt good when I got my named called for an invite. I felt like I did something good, that I came out and did what I needed to do to earn the invite. I knew once I got my name called that would mean all the hard work I put in on and off the field have paid off," Thomas said.
"I felt the invite was not just for me but all that help me along the way. It was awesome to see NextGen Regional Camp notice the hard work and what others had invested in me," he added.
This will be Thomas' first time participating in The Show. He's looking forward to competing against some of the nation's top youth athletes.
"I am thrilled about competing with the nation’s top elite because I want to show my competitiveness side and why I earned an invited. Competing with other players at my level will push me to work harder and advance my skills. I will be able to size the nation’s top talent around the country and display my own skills as well," Thomas said.
2023 RB/S Joaquin Thomas has worked hard to earn a reputation as an elite athlete from the 2023 class. His hard work was rewarded with an invite to compete in NextGen's The Show this coming June.
Thomas is looking forward to making the most of this opportunity.
"[This invitation to The Show] says that if you're willing to work hard, train and give a 150% your hard work will pay off at the end. Being invited to the Show tells me that anything is possible if I continue to work hard and stay humble with my work ethic. If I can show NextGen that I can perform well and earn an invite, I can show others as well. Truly blessed for the opportunity," Thomas said.
"Mostly I am looking forward to soaking in the experience and learn and grow from this opportunity."
For more on Joaquin Thomas, check out his Youth1 Player Profile -> here.
View some of his highlights below.
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