Just a few days after a dominating bowl performance, Solomon Thomas has made that performance the final clip of his collegiate highlight reel.
In a heartfelt — and lengthy — missive, Thomas announced that he was foregoing his remaining eligibility at Stanford and making himself available for the 2017 NFL draft this April. As he had redshirted as a true freshman in 2014, the defensive end had two years of eligibility remaining.
This season, Thomas led the Cardinal in tackles (62), tackles for loss (15) and sacks (eight). He was named first-team All-Pac-12 and was a second-team All-American according to, among others, the Football Writers Association of America.
Thomas has been widely projected as a first-round selection in the upcoming draft, and should only see his stock rise in the coming months.
Below is Thomas’ very classy farewell letter to the Stanford community, in its entirety.
To my Stanford family,
Since pulling out a symbolic Stanford tree and donning nerd glasses on National Signing Day in 2014, I have had the most amazing time of my life. I have grown and matured more than I ever could have imagined. I arrived at Stanford somewhat shy and uncertain; now I stand a curious, intelligent, dedicated, and motivated man who is ready to take on any challenge, including the NFL. With the support of my family, I have decided to forgo my last years of eligibility at Stanford and enter the 2017 NFL Draft.
To my Stanford brothers, you all mean the world to me and I love you all. You each helped mold me into a better man. From laughing in the locker room, to sweating in the weight room, to grinding on the field — you are the reason I have loved every second of my time here. Our collective goal to not only be the best team, but also the best individuals, connects us on another level. You are all men I look up to as role models and aspire to be like. We have a special bond at Stanford, one that I am so proud to be a part of. I’m so lucky to have you as brothers: this is the most amazing blessing in my life.
Coach Shaw, you are the ultimate role model. Your influence and your values, have been permanently ingrained in me. Your loyalty to this program and your players is something that I will never forget.
I am so thankful to you for recruiting, coaching, and mentoring me.
I love you, Coach Shaw.
Coach Reynolds, you have taught me things that go far beyond football. Because of you and the lessons you have instilled in us, I have not only grown as a football player, but have grown tremendously as a man.
I love you, Coach Reynolds.
Coach Turley, you are one of the most respected men in this program. You push me past my limits and comfort –mentally and physically — to a new level as a man, athlete, and player.
I love you, Coach Turley.
I want to thank God, as without Him, nothing is possible. I want to thank my family for their unconditional love. I want to thank my brothers and coaches for all that we have shared in making these years the best of my life. I want to thank the entire Stanford family. Your kindness, generosity, and love have transformed me into the man I am today. You have changed my life in ways you will never know.
I am so honored, thankful, and grateful for my time at Stanford. I love this game so much and playing in the NFL has been my dream since I was six years old. The lessons I have learned at Stanford have more than prepared me for this next step. I am so blessed by all of the people who have touched my life here. These qualities will stay with me my entire life.
I am ready.
Forever a tree.
Forever a nerd.
With much love,