Ian Thomas leaves Rutgers for baseball, spreads corner depth thin
By Tyler Barto
PISCATAWAY — Head coach Kyle Flood announced Tuesday that starting cornerback Ian Thomas has left the program to pursue a career in baseball. Flood didn't get the sense that Thomas would try to play baseball at Rutgers.
That leaves the Scarlet Knights without two starting corners in the span of five days. Fifth-year senior Lew Toler broke his arm Oct. 10 at Louisville. Thomas did not play baseball at Franklin (Md.) High School, according to mycentraljersey.com.
"I didn't really see a sign that it would happen," Flood said. "It's a strange occurrence to me, but it happens. It happens here and it happens other places."
How did Rutgers' cornerback situation get so dire?
Thomas, a former wide receiver, started three games this season and recorded an interception in the team's season opener at Fresno State.
His departure leaves Rutgers with three scholarship corners that have played this season. Two are younger than 20 years old.
"Honestly, I walked into breakfast and I heard someone say it and thought they were kidding," junior linebacker Kevin Snyder said. "I had no idea."
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Rutgers' coaching staff had not announced the reason behind Thomas' decision to the team. Teammates found Thomas' locker empty Tuesday.
Their secondary is noticeably lean. Junior Gareef Glashen returns from a two-game absence for personal reasons, but Rutgers' corners have a combined 30 appearances.
"What can you do about it? You can't stop those things from happening," redshirt freshman Steve Longa said. "We have to worry about the guys on this team because those are the guys that are going to help us win football games."
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