Follow CBSDFW.COM: Facebook | Twitter

(CBSDFW.COM) – NFL Draft night will be especially nerve wracking for Chris and Martha Thomas of Coppell. Their son, Solomon, is expected to be a first-round draft pick on Thursday night.

“We’re hoping we’re not sitting there for 5 hours,” laughed Martha.

It will be more like 15 minutes. Solomon might be the number-two pick in the draft.

It was only three years ago that Thomas was wrapping up his time at Coppell High School, where he starred for the Cowboys football team. Now, he’s about to be a star in the NFL.

“Kudos to his parents,” Coppell Athletic Director Joe McBride explained, “genuine and kindhearted… but when you walk across that track… he turned it on, and became a beast.”

A beast on the field, and a team leader from day one at Coppell. It was never more evident when one of his best friends, Jacob Logan, was killed in a drowning accident.

Thomas will carry the memory of his Logan with him to the draft – and beyond.

“Dealing with it, and helping other people helped (Solomon) grow,” said Martha. “When you get knocked down to your knees, you rise up again. And keep doing it again, and again, and again.”

That’s just how her son, Solomon Thomas, plays football.