UConn LB Eli Thomas in stable condition after stroke

Connecticut Huskies linebacker Eli Thomas (22) celebrates after sacking Rhode Island quarterback JaJuan Lawson (15) (not pictured) to end the game.Photo Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Mother: "Eli will fight back as he has with every challenge."

Connecticut linebacker Eli Thomas remains hospitalized in stable condition after suffering a stroke last week, the team announced Monday.

Thomas had the stroke on Wednesday prior to a morning weightlifting session. He immediately was transported to a local hospital, where he’s making “good progress,” according to the team.

Thomas’ mother, Mary Beth Turner, thanked assistant athletic trainers Caitlyn VanWie and Tony Salvatore in a statement released through the team.

“Without their quick response, this horrible situation could have been devastating,” Turner said.

Thomas is in his first season with the Huskies. The 6-foot, 218-pound Thomas registered 11 tackles in the first three games, including a season-high five tackles at Boise State in Week 2.

The highlight of Thomas’ season came in Week 3, when he notched a game-ending sack against Rhode Island in the Huskies’ lone victory.

“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.'”

A native of Elmira, N.Y., Thomas previously played at Lackawanna College, where he was limited to a total of four games due to a string of serious knee injuries.

Thomas attended a football camp at Connecticut and played well enough for the school to offer him a scholarship, the New Haven Register reported.

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