"I was excited about the hire (of Tim McDonald)," said Fresno State safety Phillip Thomas. "He's gonna be teaching me throughout the season and I'm gonna learn what NFL safeties do."
Tim McDonald is in his first year as Fresno State's secondary coach. He played 13 seasons in the NFL, went to six Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl.
He's more than qualified to teach the position.
"It's exciting man, get to learn from under a guy that's been there and done it and I'm excited to learn from him," said Thomas.
"There's definitely some things that we talk about, some things that will definitely give them a little bit of insight and a heads-up and the ability to make some plays that they might have otherwise been able to make," said McDonald, who also has coaching experience at Edison High School.
With all due respect, Phillip Thomas has been able to make plenty of plays on his own. He started eleven games as a sophomore in 2010, was fifth on the team with 64 tackles and had three interceptions.
He likely would have built on that in 2011, had he not broken his leg three days before the season opener. It happened in a non-contact drill.
"I feel like I'm ready," said Thomas. "When I first came back I was hesitant on the ankle, of course. Throughout spring I got better and better and now going through our summer program, I feel like 100%.
"I'm ready to get out there again."
Added McDonald, "He's a special player. He was definitely missed last year. He had a heck of a spring and look out, he's gonna do some big things this year."