Thomas had the stroke before a morning weightlifting session. He was immediately transported to a local hospital, where he's making "good progress," according to the team. In a statement released through UConn, Thomas' mother, Mary Beth Turner, thanked assistant athletic trainers Caitlyn VanWie and Tony Salvatore, saying, "Without their quick response, this horrible situation could have been devastating."
A redshirt junior from Elmira, New York, who transferred to UConn from Lackawanna College, Thomas appeared in four games this season, recording 11 tackles, including a sack, as well as a forced fumble. He sat out the 2017 season because of a knee injury.
"Thank you for all your love and well wishes for Eli," Turner said in her statement. "To say we are stunned by this turn of events is an understatement! A strong, healthy, 22-year-old man having a stroke is not anything we anticipated. However, Eli will fight back as he has with every challenge that has come his way with 'Eli Style.'"