Memorial sack expert Christian Thomas shares why it’s so important to arrive at “money time”

Published 12:36 am Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Memorial edge rusher Christian Thomas refers to the moment he beats a blocker and sees the quarterback still has the ball as “money time.”

Last season, no one in the district saw as much “money time” as he did, anchoring the most disruptive defensive front in the area on his way to a district defensive MVP.

“It always depends on the first snap of a ball game,” Thomas said. “I can tell if he is going to be able to block me from how (the opposing left blocker) pass sets and they way I do my pass rush. That determines how the game will go.”

Memorial defensive end Christian Thomas lines up for a drill at practice. (Chris Moore/The News)

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Thomas had the advantage of lining up on the opposite side of, now Texas Longhorn, Jordon Thomas last season. The matchup allowed Christian Thomas to take advantage of more one-on-one blocks and wrangle in 11 sacks for the season.

This year, defensive coordinator Korey Mangum anticipates Thomas is going to draw more double and triple teams to keep him off opposing quarterbacks.

“The big thing is finding a weaker person on the o-line,” Mangum said. “When we do that, we try to move (Thomas) over to that side. We move him around. The thing is, if he is getting double teamed, everyone else has one-on-one so that helps.”

Christian Thomas, 41, sacks the quarterback. (I.C. Murrell/The News)

Part of being a dominant pass rusher is having a plethora of moves. Thomas has the size and strength to pull off bull rushes and the speed and agility to use fineness moves.

His go-to move is a left hand stab with a club. Hand placement is very important for a pass rusher. A good pass rusher doesn’t want the opposing lineman to get a grip on him, so being able to swipe hands away is paramount.

As far as the new tricks Thomas has added to his bag of trips.

“I am working on a few moves,” he said. “I am saving them for the season.”

When he is not tracking down quarterbacks, Thomas can be found riding his horse Copenhagen. He has been riding since he was 4 years old.

“When I was young, my dad always brought us around horses,” he said. “He was brought up around horses. We would just go ride and I really enjoyed it. It is something I do in my free time.”

Thomas currently has offers from Louisiana College, Texas State University and Northwestern State to play football next season, but has not made a commitment.

The edge rusher said his goal for this season is to have more sacks than he did last year and for the Titans to make a run at the state title. Thomas is one of seven starters returning on the defensive side of the ball for Memorial.

The Titans will play in a scrimmage against West Brook Friday at Beaumont Memorial Stadium.