"I will be staying at Virginia Tech, returning for my senior year," Thomas said on ESPN's "College Football Live." "I think I have a lot to work on. I think we can get better. Leaving a program 7-6, especially a program like Virginia Tech -- we have a legacy of winning a lot of games -- kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. I want to come back and have a better season this year."
Thomas will quarterback an offense led by former Auburn coordinator Scot Loeffler, whom Virginia Tech hired Tuesday as its next offensive coordinator, according to a source in the program. Virginia Tech has not officially announced any staff changes.
Thomas, who is ranked by ESPN Insider and draft analyst Mel Kiper as the No. 1 junior quarterback, entered the 2012 season projected by many to be a first-round pick, but he struggled with a new supporting cast, and threw 16 interceptions to 18 touchdowns.
Thomas completed 51.3 percent of his passes for 2,976 yards. He was also Virginia Tech's leading rusher with 524 yards and nine touchdowns.
Coach Frank Beamer often attributed much of Thomas' inconsistency to the new faces around him. The Hokies had four new starters on the offensive line, had to replace first-round draft pick David Wilson at running back, and lost two of the school's most accomplished receivers.
In Thomas' second season as a starter, Virginia Tech finished 7-6, arguably the worst season the program has had in the past 20 years.
At 6-foot-6, 260 pounds, Thomas has proven to be difficult for defenders to bring down, and he has been compared physically to former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton. Talk about Thomas' NFL draft potential has centered more on his physical tools and potential than anything he has done yet on the field.
"For me, I need to be a lot more consistent," Thomas said. "I had a lot of throws get away from me this year."