What Would Jeff Thomas Mean For Mizzou?
Updated: Oct 21, 2019
Former Miami WR Jeff Thomas from East St.Louis was dismissed from the school's football program after reportedly clashing with the coaching staff.
Jeff Thomas is a very talented Wide Receiver and a local player who had Mizzou in his top schools at the time of his recruitment before ultimately choosing Miami. Adam Rittenberg of ESPN reports the statement made by Miami HC Mark Richt regarding Thomas' dismissal from the team, "We have high standards for excellence, for conduct and for the commitment to team for all of the young men who wear our uniform, and we will not waver from those standards," Richt said in a prepared statement. "We wish Jeff the very best as he moves forward in his journey."
It is still unclear why exactly Thomas left the team or what went on between the coaches and the Miami Star. He was dismissed after missing several practices and arguing with team staff. Thomas has had a history of clashing with coaches and teammates as in the documentary "89 blocks" by Fox Sports, there is a scene where one of Thomas' former teams had a meeting about whether or not to vote him off the team. (I personally don't know if they voted him of because I've never seen it.) There may be concerns over Jeff Thomas coming into a locker room at Mizzou and potentially being a disturbance but his coach had nothing but good things to say about him and he would be joining a lot of players from around his hometown that he can relate to.
Jeff Thomas finished his season at Miami with 563 yards and 3 Touchdowns before being dismissed from the program. In a recent story from 247 sports' website, a source around the Missouri program likes the way things are trending for Thomas after Illinois was initially thought to a guarantee. Thomas has put in a waiver claim that would grant him immediate eligibility heading into next year. I'm not quite sure how likely that would be considering Thomas was dismissed from the program and didn't straight up transfer out because of his situation. Whatever that waiver claim says must be pretty valid if Thomas submitted it. Considering that most NCAA transfers have been pretty successful at getting their claims accepted recently, Thomas has a pretty good chance because we don't even know exactly what happened.
If Thomas doesn't get his waiver claim accepted he may transfer to an FCS school before going back to a power-5 program. If Thomas does in fact gain eligibility, Mizzou should be the front-runner and Thomas would likely end up there. Mizzou would be getting an absolutely electric receiver with Thomas. He's an NFL receiver and better than Emmanuel Hall and J'mon Moore and that's no disrespect to those two players. He would give Kelly Bryant a true #1 outside of Jonathan Nance and Jalen Knox among others. It would make up one of the best Mizzou receiving groups in a while. This would put Mizzou's offense among the best in the SEC and give Missouri a serious chance against Georgia in that matchup. We will have to watch closely what happens with Thomas but there's a pretty good chance he ends up at Mizzou before next season starts.