Xavier Thomas is finally healthy.
The Clemson senior defensive end received good news on the surgically repaired foot that has plagued him since early August 2022. He announced on Twitter on Tuesday that he’s “100 percent.”
Thomas returned for his last year of eligibility because he struggled to play last season. He missed the first five games of the season as he tried to heal from the injury. After he played three games, making four total tackles, he aggravated the foot and was shut down for the rest of the season.
He needed a second surgery and has been held out of spring practice, but this is a good sign that he’ll be ready to go when the Tigers ramp up fall camp in August.
“If you’ve been injured and you haven’t done the things he wanted to do from a football standpoint, and we talk about his draft stock, it wasn’t where it needed to be,” Clemson defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall recently said. “Now he gets a chance to come back and hopefully stay healthy and prove that he deserves to be one of those top guys.”
Thomas has recorded 14.5 sacks in his Clemson career, the most of any returning Tiger. He’ll play an important role for a defense that lost Myles Murphy and KJ Henry. Thomas will be a leader and a needed producer in 2023.
“We’ve just got to keep him healthy,” Hall said. “If that happens, he could tear this place up and be really, really good. And that’s what we’re looking for.”
Hall has seen a renewed spirit from Thomas, who’s career has been injury riddled at times.
“If we can keep him locked in and he’s good in his head space, he’s focused and dialed in, that’s the best version of XT,” Hall said. “That’s what I see right now.”
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