Senior captain... Became starter at DT as sophomore... As senior, helped Boone HS to finest campaign in school history... Braves went 14-0, advancing to the Florida 6A state championship game where it fell to nation's No. 1 ranked team, Northwestern HS... Contributed 115 total tackles, 87 solo stops, 13 QB hurries, five QB sacks, three forced fumbles and a pair of blocked punts as senior DT... Named as Florida's all-classification second team All-State DT... Also All-Central Florida, All-Region and All-District recipient... As junior, posted 76 total tackles, 47 unassisted stops and two sacks... As thrower in track & field, finished seventh in shot put at 2007 6A state meet... Also earned pair of letters in weightlifting.
Johnell Thomas... Son of John Thomas and Shonda Glover ... Legal guardians are Boone assistant coach, Peter Kearney, and his wife Lisa... Born on Dec. 12, 1989... Has a brother, John, and two sisters, Nakita Perry and Gladys Thomas... Wants to earn communication-related degree.
BOONE HEAD COACH PHIL ZIGLAR
"Johnell's a very high caliber young man with tremendous integrity. Even though life's been tough at times for Johnell, he's a remarkable person, just a very good citizen and a guy with unbelievable work ethic.
"Johnell wanted Vanderbilt before Vanderbilt wanted him. He's a guy that's very loved around Boone High School. You should have heard the cheers from our administration and faculty when it was announced that Johnell chose Vanderbilt."
"Johnell brings a lot to the football field. He was a tremendous force for our defense, and a big reason why we had the finest season in school history. He is a very physical player that has unbelievable speed for his size. Johnell's also one of those guys that never stops on the field, just an total energy guy."