N.C. State linebacker Drake Thomas will be playing his final game for the Wolfpack in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl, he announced late Friday on social media.
Thomas, a second-team All-ACC choice this season, posted on Instagram that he would enter the 2023 NFL draft, saying, “The decision was “nowhere close to an easy one.”
Thomas, who led the Pack with 90 tackles in 2022, said he would compete in the bowl game in Charlotte against Maryland, writing, “I can’t wait to suit up with my brothers one last time.”
NCSU coach Dave Doeren said this week that Thomas and linebacker Payton Wilson, who both have eligibility remaining, had not made a decision on the 2023 season.
Drake will join his older brother, Thayer, in playing their final game for the Wolfpack. A younger brother, Lex, is a quarterback who has signed with the Wolfpack and will be a freshman in 2023.
“I could never have imagined us three being where we are now,” Thomas wrote. “Growing up, living out our childhood dreams together has made this journey that much better.”
Thomas, highly recruited out of Heritage High, has made 37 starts for the Pack and was a first-team All-ACC selection in 2021. He has had 42 tackles for losses in his Wolfpack career, with 18 sacks, including a team-leading 6.5 sacks and 15 tackles for losses this season.
In addressing the Raleigh Sports Club this month, Thomas discussed the decision he was facing involving the NFL.
“It basically comes down to if I’m a solidified draft pick and I feel like I have a good shot at getting drafted, then I think the good decision is to go,” he said. “But I think if there’s some chance I could go undrafted and it’s not guaranteed I’m going to play football anymore, I think that’s when you come back. Because you love football.”
The decision: he will go pro. But only after one final game for the Wolfpack.