"I went to a Tulane practice and met the coaches," he said. "Leonard Davis, the Tulane commit from East Saint John, came over and talked to me. He said they need a leader like me in the class, and we talked about how we'd get it jumping.
"We want to get the fun back at Tulane. When you watch practice, you should have players working hard and having fun at the same time."
Tulane gave Thomas the hard sell.
"They didn't care about my height; they said they knew I could play, and that I'm one of the best in the nation. 'We have to get you,' they said.
"Coach Curtis Johnson said, 'We're going to give you a full scholarship; are you going to take it?'"
Thomas responded in the affirmative.
"I told him I'm ready to play," the 5-foot-9 3/4, 230-pound senior said.
With Thomas in the fold, Tulane now counts three verbal pledges from nearby John Curtis Christian. Offensive lineman Brandon Godfrey and cornerback Richard Allen are also Green Wave commitments; Tulane could ultimately sign up to five Patriots (Duke Riley and Sherman Badie each hold offers).
"Eric is like my brother," Riley said. "Our whole team is hard workers, and I think Eric and I are probably two of the hardest-workers on the team.
"I'm always with him; we're the leaders of the defense. Eric knows what it takes to win. I'm glad that Tulane offered him, and I'm happy for him."
Riley (74 tackles) and Thomas (59) lead John Curtis in stops. The Patriots are ranked No. 2 in the nation by FOX Sports Next. Thomas bench presses 450 pounds, squats 600, and throws the shot nearly 60 feet. He's first on the charts at Curtis with six sacks.
Thomas recorded a season-high 13 tackles (10 unassisted) vs. Carver. He had four sacks in last year's semifinal win over Evangel Christian.