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College Football News: Texas’s Thomas declares for NFL draft

with 5 comments

News came last night that Texas Longhorns All-America safety Earl Thomas declared that he will leave school after his sophomore season to enter the NFL draft, according to  The news is the latest (though unsurprising) blow to a team that will be rebuilding next year while having to replace (among others) its entire offensive line, two-time Heisman nominee Colt McCoy, his favorite target Jordan Shipley, and defensive leaders Roddrick Muckelroy, Sergio Kindle and Lamarr Houston.

Thomas set team records this year with eight interceptions and two returned for touchdowns.

Texas’ Thomas leaves school early


Written by Austin Swafford

January 9, 2010 at 1:14 pm

5 Responses

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  1. No surprise, there. I don’t know… I still have pretty high expectations for the Longhorns next season. There will definitely be a lot of “rebuilding” but at Texas it’s more like “reloading.” Barring any significant injuries (see: Oklahoma, 2009) there are only two particularly tough games on their schedule: Oklahoma (in Dallas) and at Nebraska back-to-back, but with a bye week in-between. That bye-week might end up being a season-saver.

    While the O-line will need a lot of work (like Oklahoma’s did last year), there is a very, very good core of receivers and tight-ends to help out Gilbert, who looked like he was only a summer-scrimmage away from being a legitimate UT starting QB in relief of Colt McCoy in the National Championship game. And there are a certainly a couple pairs of big shoes to fill on defense, but they will still be loaded, and they won’t face any offenses much better than what they saw this year (and maybe they’ll get a steady stream of tackling drills in the off-season).

    The real bad news, in my opinion, is that there are a lot of other teams returning a much larger contingent of some already very good players. But only a couple of them are in the Big 12, so I’d expect Texas to have a pretty good shot at getting back to the Big 12 Championship, and vying for an automatic or solid at-large BCS bid next season.


    January 9, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    • That’s a good point. Texas has done as good a job rebuilding from year to year as any team in the country. That’s why Mack Brown has all those 10-win seasons. Texas thought they’d have a hard time when Vince Young left (along with the Griffins, Huff, Thomas, Sweed, so on and so forth), but they still lost just 3 games that year (one to OSU, which went to the national championship) and went and won the Alamo Bowl. Texas usually does just fine replenishing their offensive line, and you have to have faith in Muschamp’s ability to make the most of whatever he’ll be handed on defense.

      So, it won’t be a BAD year, just a tough year by Texas expectations. Don’t expect a BCS bowl, is what I’m saying. They’re still a solid bet for the Holiday or Cotton bowl, though.

      Austin Swafford

      January 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm


    Sep. 4 at Rice
    Sep. 11 Wyoming
    Sep. 18 UCLA
    Sep. 25 Florida Atlantic
    Oct. 2 vs. Oklahoma @Dallas, TX
    Oct. 16 at Nebraska
    Oct. 23 Iowa State
    Oct. 30 Baylor
    Nov. 6 at Kansas State
    Nov. 13 Oklahoma State
    Nov. 20 at Texas Tech
    Nov. TBA Texas A&M

    The only way I see this NOT leading to a BCS berth is if Texas manages to lose to someone other than Nebraska in the regular season, but beats Nebraska, then faces them again in the Big 12 Championship and loses. That would most likely result in Nebraska getting the automatic qualifier for the BCS but would also most likely leave them out of the Championship game, and I don’t think they’ll be room for two Big 12 teams if none of them are undefeated.

    The Big 12 South is not a gimme… but Texas has by far the easiest path to the top, followed closely by Oklahoma State. Oklahoma and Texas A&M (probably the only other serious contenders) each have a pretty tough non-conference/Big 12 North schedule. That being said, if one of them manages their way through it, they might be able to push Texas out of the picture.


    January 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    • Yeah, but you have to factor in an inexperienced team. Straight up and down I would take Texas over anyone on their schedule. But, with a young team, you have to plan on them losing to some people they should probably beat. Like they did with Kansas State and Texas A&M during Colt’s freshman year. Or even like they had with Texas Tech last year. Anything can happen, and I have to count on the young team stumbling at some point…that stretch at the end of the year where they play KState, OkState, Texas Tech and Texas A&M in a row is not an easy stretch. I wouldn’t be stunned if they lost a couple of those games at the end.

      Austin Swafford

      January 9, 2010 at 5:36 pm

  3. Not much to say right now, I’m a little burnt out. Hoped Thomas wouldn’t leave but figured he would.

    Ill be fired up again after the spring game… Untill then I’m giving my emotions s break


    January 9, 2010 at 9:49 pm

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