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Julian Thomas
Julian Thomas

[S1E5] Crowd Sourced



The king loses his train of thought as the crowd murmurs, but soon finds his place and finishes the speech in good humor. But the night feels less like a joyous occasion now, and more like the calm before the storm.




[S1E5] Crowd Sourced



on this episode of the T. J. Thorpe show. Ty smith of the Minnesota Vikings. He's also a graduate of towson University to the ones who are kind of starting to doubt their self in the process. Um You could look at me as a testament that I have no stars coming out of high school. I had like I said one offer that came before signing day ended up getting drafted fifth round by Seattle um in 2015 and now I'm going on year eight. Why Ohio State I believe Ohio State is where I wanna be. That's where my heart was at. My family's recognized how happy I was when I chose the decision to go there and I believe that what they got going on is second to none. What's up everybody? This is T. J. Thorpe and you are tuned into the T. J. Thorpe show. And on this episode we have a two part episode we got ty smith of the Minnesota Vikings and we have N. C. S. Top recruit newly committed to Ohio State. Noah Rogers. I think this is gonna be a really good episode. So buckle your seat belt. We're gonna mosey on from Raleigh right on up to roseville north Carolina and we're gonna have a good good talk with both of them. So buckle it up let's get right get your refreshments. Don't leave your seat. Let's do it. We got our inside voices today because we're at capitol broadcasting studios. You know the home of my show where everything goes down the lab today. We have a a good visitor. A great visitor, A good friend of mine. Ty smith of the Minnesota Vikings. He's also a graduate of towson University. Um, and and, and Riley native here here back with us. So it's a pleasure to have you as my brother, my brother. Um, so let's just jump right into it. So we got, we thank you for your time first off. Um, and I know you've been just broke from minicamp. Um, so I want to check in there first off and make sure everything went well. Plays were made. Obviously you rocking number five. So I appreciate that Lord, every time I see it, I'm like, oh, I need that jersey. So, so we'll talk about how you got there. Um, so starting off you are you, did you start off, I know you have some capital city stealing blood in you. But did you start off playing for the Steelers or was that your pop on the team? Talk to me? Um, I started off initially playing for the, it was, was the Cleveland chiefs At one point it was over in johnson County. Then we changed names to the Cleveland Wildcats. I played with my cousin CJ fredrick who actually went to west johnson played running back, you know, got a lot of records. And um, then I went over to Capitol city. Um, right in Raleigh. Um, I played Pop Warner all the way into 9th grade. Maybe Justin. Birds. I feel like me and him might have crossed paths at one point when he was playing for capitalists were, y'all ever teammates. Well, we want teammates, but he, we crossed paths through Capital City. He was on uh, I believed at the time he played on an older team and I did, I played on the younger team, but we also ended up going, we went to East Millbrook together. That's uh, that's how we formally met and became friends. So, so as we can see there in the triangle area, there's been a lot of guys especially coming out of Raleigh, you know, going to the big leagues, so to speak. Um, and then coming from Capitol City, you know, just a lot of these kids that are just playing, you know, now don't even realize like, you know, this, this, this program is built a bit of a pipeline from going from Pop Warner ranks to to doing the thing in high school and then going to college and then obviously to the league as you've done. So, um, well, that's cool man. I just like to give them a little background kind of how, how, how long you've been into this sport. It's not something that just started overnight. You've been getting reps at it, You've been playing corner, you've been, you know, making plays all over the field. So get into your time at Wakefield. Um, so I know I, I've seen some of your tape and I've worked out with you myself um growing up, but talk to me about your time at Wakefield, how how you made the decision, whatever decision you did make, I won't spoil the surprise, but whatever decision you did make for college, talk about some of the time you put in some of the things you did throughout your high school career to kind of make your, your dreams come true. Uh we'll start out with summer workouts. Um like I said, my uh, I played part one all the way to my ninth grade year. So I started playing high school, 10th grade, I started off JV playing safety. Um, it really started, like I said, with workouts, you know, really me putting in that time with my teammates and grinding and really having a belief in myself that I wanted to go to the next level and at that at that time, you know, it was college. Um, so my time there as you can see it worked out well, but it was really a grind and you know, I had friends, I had teammates at the time that, you know helped me get through it. You know what I'm saying, help help push. But as a team we did well as well, especially, I believe my junior year, we had, we had a pretty good year. Um, so we, and we have also had a good amount of town on the team, not just myself, you know, other people as well, who are some of those guys don't mind me asking, you know, we had Nigel King Connor mitch um, darien jones warrants keys, uh Daniel White, uh yeah, a receivers. We had Kourtney as a running back. Like we had Terrence, we had a lot of, we have a lot of talent and so on. So you still, you know, I'm just like that no, no slight to my high school, but I can't name that many guys, you know, who are, you know, who went on and continued playing ball and were huge contributors on the team. Obviously we had some good guys come to Matt and Ryan Anderson, uh, wait for us guys waiting for us to watch. Now. I'm on the train. Did T. J. Grant play for y'all too? But he was at Wakefield, Wakefield, Wakefield doing something and shout out to mr Branson at Wakefield because I know he was my middle school coach in Durham. Somehow he made his way over to Raleigh and he's now teaching at Wakefield. So any of the kids at Wakefield High school, he doesn't know what he's talking about, but okay, cool. So, so then you, you get into this this pivotal time because obviously you name so many guys, um I'd imagine that it's it's probably hard to not necessarily make plays, but to get noticed making those plays because a lot of, I know Nigel King was one hand and stuff and going crazy at that time. So so so how did your recruiting process go um if you know from I guess from that sophomore year when you finally were on varsity up until uh I'm sorry not sophomore junior on varsity until you you left out the door. It was slow. It was slow for me compared to like you know. Nice. That's what I'm saying guys like that he deserved every offer um For for guys like myself it was slow. Um Actually uh ultimately only got one offer and that offer actually came actually uh I went to the N. C. State camp uh in june leading up to my senior year and I actually ended up meeting the DB coach for towson at the time at N. C. State. Um You know I had the dreams of going to state you know going to a bigger college and stuff. Um But ultimately it didn't work out. Um And my offer came like two months before signing day with towson offered me and like I said it was my only office I took it and there was a D. One double a school um up in Baltimore Maryland. So that mindset I'm sure you had beyond the amount of place that anybody else could have made in high school. But that mindset of maybe feeling passed over maybe you know people not understanding your full potential you're worth. Um What type of mind frame did that because I know a lot of times kids feel like if it's not the the big the big D. One, like you said if it's not the you know the N. C. State's, the Clemson's, the U. N. C. S. The we'll go ahead and show Duke some love the Dukes. The Wake Forest is if it's not those schools, a lot of times kids just kind of packing in, you know, or feel like they didn't succeed to where they need to be. But but you kinda, you know, you took that that personally so to speak. Um And I say that because I like to also give people their flowers here on the show. Um Because you, I mean obviously you deserve it but I remember working out with you myself and feeling this this energy and one on ones where we were competing, we're having fun. But I always felt like, yeah he there's a target on me, like he's gunning for me, he's whatever. But but it was always good you were always asking questions of like why do receivers do this or why is he just trying to get that understanding? Um Do you think that that that ignited that fire under you kind of like maybe that draft feeling and not getting drafted but wanting to have that chip on your shoulder, have you kind of carried that through your career? Yeah, I think that ultimately started. I mean I think I've always had just been been have underdog mentality, me believing that I am one of the best, you know what I'm saying and that I can be but knowing that you know, I still got I still got progress and stuff to make. So I did carry that chip on my shoulder um for a long time, especially up to college, you know, and through college uh even when I got to college, you know, I still had the mindset when we played a bigger D. One A team like you know what I'm saying? I want to show that I want to prove that I can compete with these guys, you know like the Yukon, the Maryland, the L. S. U. Teams that we played, you know, in my time at towson and we matched up well against them as as a team, you know, even though he was the one W. A school we had, we had a lot of guys like myself on the team, you know, um I actually believe that guys that come from smaller schools kinda kinda have have to have that chip, They have to have that inner drive because you know, that's just that's just the way the way of the the football world, you know what I'm saying? They believe, you know, others believe that D. One A. Is the way it's the only way, but it's been proven year in, year out that the one W. A. S D. Two D. Three is like there's you can play ball and they're gonna find, you stick to your craft and you stick to your faith? There's nothing really that can stop you other than yourself. So before, I don't want to highlight that L. S. U. Game because I what what do you remember your status from that game? I think I had like 10 tackles two P. B. U. S and like two sacks in the forest gump. So so you decide, and this is in that valley, you go in there, your sophomore year in the L. S. U. U. Post 10 tackles two PV us two sacks and the force from and somehow this man did not have but one off and and then that just goes to show like again it's not a matter of you know who, when, why any of that, it's a matter of when I do get this opportunity, I'm gonna make the best of it and and it obviously seemed to prepare you into the league, but before we get there just kind of threw out that housing experience, What are some of the things that you still kind of hold onto now, maybe that you learned along the way, Some of the best practices you had as a corner. I know a lot of guys, you know, feel like obviously if I do a w drill, I figured it out, but obviously there's so much more technique and and thought that goes into reading alignments, understanding concepts and things like that um during your time, you know, in college, what things did you do to kind of project you to that next level? Um I would say uh film study, um coach, my coach at the time, Derek johnson, he's actually gonna be the DB coach Millbrook. Um um he taught, he taught this film study as far as uh actually knowing what to look for on film, as a D. B. You know, looking at splits the receiver, looking at the offense, looking at the personnel they bring in. Um I feel like that elevated when I got to college, not saying I was watching film in high school, but in college we had more time to watch film, you know what I'm saying? So it was like, that helped tremendously because it slows the game down, it's like you and you anticipate stuff knowing what you've seen on film, so that I feel like that helped. So give me an example, so for these young Dbs at home and for some of these young receivers who are gonna listen to this because obviously some of the game you're given, they can use to kind of counter maybe getting covered up or kind of help them get open sometimes, uh what what types of things that corner do you look for to kind of give you that that that that extra advantage going into whatever covering whatever great receiver you've you've covered these days, um situational football, understanding that the field is broken up in phases, you know, you got backed up, you got in the middle of the field, you got the fringe area, the shot area, then you got red zone, understand the time of the game. 1st, 2nd, 3rd quarter. Like is it towards the end of the quarter? Like towards the end of the second quarter where it's a two minute drill that they're trying to score? Um really breaking it down into, into that aspect and then you get into the point of, okay, what's the personnel? Is it 11 personnel? Where's three receivers or is it no, 10 personnel or whatever? Um, once you get to that point, Okay, what down is it, is it third down, which is important down? Say if it's it's third and five, we're gonna, we're gonna probably have to press this because, you know, It opposed if it's 3rd and 10 with a little off, you know, uh then once you break down that as far as okay, when, when they come out in the formation, what the receiver split is is he close to the numbers? He on top of the numbers that he wide from the numbers. Okay, where's the next guy real quick? Why is that important? Because that that predicates a lot of route recognition. He's wider from the numbers, you can anticipate things like slants, uh fade or come back depending on how far and how close he is to that red line, so to say, um, if he's inside the numbers, you can, or if you have a condensed formation inside the numbers most time that condenses gonna expand out. Uh, so knowing that I suppose it'll spread formation, you might, you know what I'm saying, Get a lot of deep curls or comebacks with two seams if it's two by two, like just understand that and that, that helps a lot. Um, and then you get to the aspect of actually studying the person and the people you're going against studying their mannerism, studying okay. Like he might, this receiver might put his this leg up sometimes when he's about to run this route or he might put this leg up sometimes, you know what I'm saying? Or sometimes he might stand, he might sway a little bit because he kind of knows what he's about to go already and just little nuances like that. That hopes it helps the game a lot. It slows it down, but it makes you right and it's funny you mentioned that and I hope a lot of that people, you rewind it back, play it and go through a lot of what you said because a lot of what you said and it's funny the higher you get up into the, to the, this ladder of football, you, you and a few other guys that I've talked to, um, have that same mindset of understanding tendencies, understanding like a lot of the receivers to come out and they're hanging down and chilling in the sense, It's a run play nine times out of 10 it's rumple or either that or you're not involved. But then all of a sudden the guy comes up there, his hands doing the little thing, you know, his glove strap already, you know, he, he didn't look at had his card six times that he's trying to figure it out. You, you know, okay, something's up. I don't watch you on film every single time you break the huddle you, if you're running this route, you have your right leg up. And then as soon as you run your in breaking scene now or stem now, all of a sudden you switch legs just to give you a better, you know, little things like that, as you said, and it's funny that a lot of times people don't understand or these student athletes don't understand what we mean by uh, becoming a student of the game and, and taking time and investing yourself, investing your time into your craft. That's what it is. It's, it's taking the time, looking at film over and over again until you're sick in the stomach repping it until, you know, it's become second nature. And then, like you said, when the game slows down. Oh, everybody now, that's one place. All right. That's when you can play fast. That's when it's simplified and things like that. So I really appreciate you going through that because I was in there like, oh yeah, this man been listening now, all the, all the Dvds at Millbrook gonna be like, oh, yeah, that's our coach gave him a lot of that game too. Oh, yeah. Millbrook definitely, you know, sidebar to what coaches walking into. I know they have a good receiver over there, you know, they have some other good pieces. But to know that they have, uh, uh, pieces on the staff, you know, that can pour into these athletes, you know, the right information into these athletes. I think that's that's huge for them. Hopefully Jordan high School don't have to play them no time soon. But so with that, I definitely want to highlight what you got on. Um because it's it's just one thing to be a football player, but you're obviously way more than that. Um So when it comes down to simple greatness, if you could, you know, show everybody your shirt. So simple greatness. I understand that Your brand, kind of, where, where did that come from? Uh, it came about about 2016. What I mean by this can't be measured. And uh, it was ultimately a testament to my journey from high school Pop Warner to where I'm at now. Uh me believing that we all got something within us that keeps us driving and keeps us pushing throughout life. Um and that's just not just athletes. That's everybody in general. we all got some type of simple greatness within us. And uh, it was really a testament to that and that's how it came about. I've had to, we've had two camps. Um, we haven't done one in the past couple of years due to covid and some other things, but we are planning on revamping a whole bunch of things. Uh, uh, we, we did it ST Aug had two successful camps. We're gonna, our goal is to run it back this upcoming spring, um, to where we are also gonna start with some charity give back uh, leading up until that point. Um, it's right now, it's my brand, but I'm in the process of officially making in the Foundation. Um, so we can really do the things that we want to do, pushing forward for for a rally, um, in the state of north Carolina and everywhere else wherever God takes us. Um, but that's really how it came about. Like I said, it's me personally, I just think we all got simple greatness within us, nobody wants to be counted out, but then everybody wants to prove themselves right. And I believe that's ultimately what it is. Like, you know, y'all you, yourself, you know what I'm saying are where you are and some people probably think you wasn't gonna get to where you are, but you knew within yourself that you get where you are and you still have further to go and that's what I have on my wristband seek greatness because we always, it's always a seek seeking mentality, you know what I'm saying? If you seek, you will find, you know what I'm saying? If you keep seeking that daily. I think uh you got this really comes down to doing something daily. Like looking at it was like, it's a process, you know what I'm saying, you're never gonna be perfect in one day, it's all about building up, you know what I'm saying? So that's what it is. So f


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