Baltimore native and NFL tight end prospect Ian Thomas, along with his brothers talk about supporting each other after losing their parents at a young age. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)
Indiana tight end Ian Thomas didn't have to wait long Saturday to find out where he'll begin his NFL career.
The Baltimore native's improbable ascent to the brink of the NFL culminated when the tight end was selected with the first pick of the fourth round by the Carolina Panthers.
Thomas lost both his parents before he was 10 years old. His older brother, Clif Farmer, who was in his early 20s at the time, became his guardian and made sure Thomas stayed on the right path.
Not recruited out of Digital Harbor High, Thomas went to junior college at Nassau Community College in New York before moving onto Indiana. He spent two seasons with the Hoosiers, catching 28 balls for 404 yards and five touchdown receptions.
The Ravens considered taking Thomas, who grow up as a fan of the team and considered Todd Heap one of his favorite players, with the 86th pick in the third round, but they opted to select Oklahoma's Mark Andrews.