Northside defensive coordinator Felix Curry was among those who felt a sense of pride watching one of his former players recently win a bowl game.

Kiondre Thomas, a former Grizzly standout who now plays for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, participated in last week's Quick Lane Bowl, held at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich., against Georgia Tech. The Golden Gophers prevailed, 34-10.

Thomas, a defensive back who just wrapped up his season as a redshirt sophomore, finished the game by recording three total tackles, including a key third-down stop during the second half. He was part of a Minnesota defensive unit which allowed just 206 yards rushing to a Georgia Tech team that came into the game having led the nation in rushing, averaging 335 yards per game.

"He had a couple of great open-field tackles," Curry said. "Then I was also pleased that he didn't lured to sleep.

"A lot of times, when you're a defensive back playing a team like that, you kind of get lured in that it's a run, it's a run, it's a run and then boom, there's a ball getting past you. He did a great job making sure, playing a team that's heavy on the run, that he was mindful when they tried to go over the top on them with a pass, he didn't get lured to sleep in that."

Last week's bowl win also capped a successful late-season surge for the Gophers, in their second season under coach P.J. Fleck. Minnesota (7-6) had qualified for bowl eligibility by winning its regular-season finale, 37-15, against arch-rival Wisconsin, which broke a 14-year losing streak to the Badgers.

Thomas (6-foot, 190 pounds) forced a fumble and registered two tackles in that win at Wisconsin.

For the season, Thomas finished with 32 total tackles, 29 of those solo. He also broke up four passes.

"I think he's more technique-sound, and I think at the college level, they pay a little bit more attention to detail so he's a little more sound in technique," Curry said. "He has a better understanding of technique. ... He has a lot better concept of what's going on."

In the Gophers' season opener, a 48-10 win against New Mexico State, Thomas had seven tackles and broke up a pair of pass attempts. That helped earn him a starting spot the following week, when Minnesota defeated eventual Mountain West Conference champion Fresno State.

Another notable game for Thomas, who was unavailable for comment, came in a loss on the road to eventual Big Ten champion Ohio State. There, Thomas finished with seven tackles, including one for loss.

As a senior at Northside during the 2015 season, Thomas was in on 23 tackles while intercepting a pass.

Perhaps his most memorable game as a Grizzly occurred in his junior year, when Thomas picked off three passes and recovered a fumble to help Northside win its season opener against Pine Bluff.

With Thomas back in the fold next season, along with several other talented defensive backs and a strong recruiting class coming in for the Golden Gophers, Curry believes the best is yet to come for Thomas.

"He has the best of both worlds," Curry said. "He's a great cover corner and he's pretty aggressive on the run also.

"I think with another year of maturity in a system that he's starting to understand more, I just think overall he's going to be a better player just by being in the system and understanding the system a little bit more."