THE FLATS – Georgia Tech defensive lineman Keion White (Garner, N.C./Garner H.S.) and linebacker Charlie Thomas (Thomasville, Ga./Thomasville H.S.) are in Indianapolis for the 2023 National Football League Scouting Combine.
White and Thomas are among the 319 premier prospects that received invitations to participate in the 2023 NFL Combine. The Combine is the preeminent showcase for the NFL Draft, where top prospects are evaluated and interviewed by head coaches, assistant coaches, general managers, scouting personnel and medical staffs from all 32 NFL teams.
White, who measured 6-foot-5 and 280 pounds at last month’s Senior Bowl, has emerged as one of the top defensive prospects in the 2023 National Football League Draft. Recently, NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah tabbed White as the Draft’s No. 8 overall prospect, while ESPN’s Mel Kiper projected that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would select White with the No. 19 pick in the first round of the 2023 Draft. If the projections hold up, White would become the 12th first-round NFL Draft pick in Georgia Tech history, and the first since defensive end Derrick Morgan and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas were selected with the 16th (Tennessee Titans) and 22nd (Denver Broncos) overall picks in the 2010 Draft, respectively.
White racked up 122 tackles, 33.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks over the course of his collegiate career, which included two seasons at Old Dominion (2018-19) and two at Georgia Tech (2021-22). He began his career at ODU as a tight end, but in his first season on the defensive side of the ball, he ranked among the top 10 in NCAA Division I FBS with 19 tackles for loss as a sophomore in 2019.
After ODU canceled its season in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, White transferred to Georgia Tech, but was limited to just four games in 2021 due to an offseason injury. Playing at full strength as a senior in 2022, White had a monster season for the White and Gold, racking up 54 total tackles, 14 TFL and 7.5 sacks while starting all 12 games.
Thomas emerged as one of college football’s most versatile and productive defenders during the course of his outstanding collegiate career at Georgia Tech. He stuffed the stat sheet with 313 tackles, 37 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, seven forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and four interceptions in 56 games as a Yellow Jacket. In addition to his primary role at linebacker, Thomas also lined up in the secondary and even as a defensive lineman during the course of his five seasons on The Flats (2018-22). His 56 games played rank second in school history, behind only classmate Malachi Carter, who played in 58 games as a wide receiver at Tech.
Thomas put together a historic season as a senior in 2022, racking up 112 tackles, 10.5 TFL, two sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, which he returned for a total of 114 yards. He is one of only two NCAA Division I FBS players since 2000 with at least 112 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in a regular season (and the first since TCU’s Paul Dawson in 2014). Following his stellar campaign, he was invited to participate in last month’s East-West Shrine Bowl.
After arriving in Indianapolis earlier this week, White and Thomas will participate in team and media interviews and undergo medical examinations through Wednesday. Both players will be officially measured and participate in on-field workouts on Thursday, then wrap up their Combine experience with the bench press and broadcast interviews on Friday. NFL Network will have live coverage of the defensive linemen and linebackers from 3-8 p.m. on Thursday.
White’s and Thomas’ invitations to this year’s NFL Combine mark the first time since 2016 that multiple Yellow Jackets have been invited to the Combine in the same year (DL Adam Gotsis and DB D.J. White represented Georgia Tech at the 2016 Combine).
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