On-again, off-again: Jeff Thomas shuns Illinois, returning to Miami
The on-again, off-again saga featuring Miami WR Jeff Thomas has, finally, reached its end. We think.
After using Illinois as a security blanket, telling the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette that he “can’t wait to get started at Illinois,” Thomas has decided to return to Miami. He announced his decision to transfer in December but had a change of heart when head coach Mark Richt unexpectedly retired and Manny Diaz was handed the program.
Initially, Thomas announced that he was transferring to Illinois, a program that had pursued him heavily during the 2017 recruiting cycle. Then, once Diaz was named head coach, the talented wide received inquired about a return to the program. Thomas seemed to be on his way to Champaign, but he made an announcement through social media late Tuesday night stating that he’s staying with the Hurricanes.
There’s your answer UM fans. Jeff Thomas takes to instagram to say he’s back with the Canes… pic.twitter.com/TohbQ41Wt1
— Will Manso (@WillManso) January 16, 2019
Thomas would’ve been a huge addition to the Illinois offense, providing offensive coordinator Rod Smith with a quality target in the passing attack. But the Illini did still land WR A.D. Miller from Oklahoma and TE Luke Ford from Georgia, both of which could have a prominent role next fall.
Miller will be eligible immediately as a graduate transfer. Ford will have to appeal to the NCAA for a waiver to receive eligibility for the 2019 campaign.
Thomas totaled 35 receptions for 563 yards and three touchdowns for the Hurricanes in 2018. He played in 11 games, missing the season finale against Pitt and the Pinstripe Bowl against Wisconsin.