It didn't take Jeff Woody very long to figure out that Logan Thomas had a bright future in football.
"The first time I saw him in high school, he was in ninth grade, and came up and he practiced with us," Woody, the head football coach at Monticello High School, recalled on Thursday. "He was playing wide receiver; he played quarterback on the JV level that year. But you knew something was special, right off the bat."
Woody was the head coach at Brookville High School in Lynchburg at the time. A year later, in 2006, Thomas joined the Bees' varsity team as a 6-4, 190-pound wide receiver -- and caught 55 passes.
"To be that tall, to be that smooth, to be that athletic," Woody said. "And he's a great person as well. He's got his morals straight; priorities are in check."
After starring for three seasons at Brookville -- Woody called him "a superhero" on Thursday -- Thomas went on to spend the last five years playing quarterback at Virginia Tech. At some point next week, Thomas will become a pro football player, when his name is called during the three-day NFL Draft.
Thomas leaves Blacksburg as the Hokies' all-time leader in several statistical categories -- including total offense, career passing touchdowns, and career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback. He threw for 2,907 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior in 2013.
Now listed at 6-6 and 248 lbs., Thomas is projected to be drafted anywhere from the third to the sixth round.
"We'll stay tuned, watch Friday and watch Saturday. And it's going to be a joyous occasion to watch his name get called," Woody said. "And obviously all of us are interested to find out where he's going to go. But hey, to make it to that level, that's an accomplishment in itself."
Thomas earned AA state player of the year honors while playing for Woody, and was regarded as one of the top recruits in the state coming out of Brookville in 2009. Woody says he hasn't spoken to his former star quarterback recently, but still keeps close tabs on Thomas.
Woody also said he's excited that the dream of every high school football player will soon become a reality for Thomas.
"I had a coach tell me a long time ago that making it in the NFL is like walking through a jungle, and not getting bitten by a mosquito," Woody said. "And so he's made it through the jungle, and he's got the opportunity to play at that next level and get paid for it. And it's exciting."