As the Fresno State football team put on pads for the first time while preparing for the first two-a-day practice session, nobody is happier than Phillip Thomas.
The senior safety is back on the field after losing all of last season to an injury. Thomas fractured his lower leg and dislocated his ankle just three days before the Bulldogs' 2011 season opening game.
The Fresno State defense really never recovered from the loss. Thomas had been one of the squad's top players. He started 11 games in 2010, leading the team in interceptions and pass breakups.
Thomas was also a factor in stopping the run.
He missed being with his teammates most of all. Now Thomas says he is happy to get back with them, win with them, even struggle with them.
Thomas says this is his season to show everybody what was missing last year.