- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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I've always liked talking to former West Virginia linebacker J.T. Thomas, whom I found to be a smart and thoughtful guy.
And here's a great story on Thomas that shows he's got a pretty big heart, too.
Thomas, who was drafted in the sixth round by the Chicago Bears last month, escorted an eighth-grade girl named Joslyn Levell to her end-of-year formal dance over the weekend. Levell has spina bifida and must use a wheelchair most of the time. From the story:
Thomas' 7-year-old brother, Jared, has autism and rides the same bus as Levell. Knowing Levell was a Bears fan, bus driver Jake Tennant planned to introduce Jared's older brother to her. Nearly three weeks ago, J.T. was invited on the bus while kids were being dropped off at home.
What timing. As J.T. met a Bears fan in his hometown, Joslyn explained to him that she'd had a rough week because all of the boys she asked to the dance declined. Thomas melted.
"I hugged her and signed a few things and we talked for awhile and she cried a bit," Thomas recounted. "I gave her a hug and told her everything would work itself out."
Thomas, who has worked at autism awareness events, rented a black Chrysler and showed up to Levell's house with roses and a corsage. Levell, as you might expect, was the talk of the party thanks to her "date."
"This was Joslyn's night," Thomas said. "It wasn't about me."
But it's a great reflection on the type of guy J.T. Thomas is.