After Thomas redshirted in 2009, he appeared in 10 games in a reserve role for the Tigers. Thomas played in 13 games (starting 10, nine at left guard, one at left tackle) as a sophomore. He was selected as a First-Team All-ACC selection in 2012 after starting all 13 games on the season. He had a team-high 23 knockdowns over the course of the season. Thomas came into his senior season heralded as one of the best tackles in the ACC. He lived up to the bill with a team-high 32 knockdowns and a second First-Team All-ACC selection.