clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ian Thomas Leaves RU To Play Baseball


Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Apparently the Angry Rutgers Cornerback Hating God exists. You're guess is as good as mine why a player who didn't even play baseball in high school wanted to leave a BCS level and B1G-bound program to pursue a sport he has no experience in. Ian Thomas was on track to become a great defensive back for Rutgers. Even his high school coach was completely surprised by this move:

I did not see it coming. -Anthony Burgos, Franklin (Md.) High School

What about teammates?

Ian and I were very close friends actually and we talked all the time. But nothing like that ever came up. It was very shocking to me. -Leonte Carroo (NBCsports)

It's something that came out of nowhere. -Jeremy Deering (SNYRutgers)

The locker room usually has the inside scoop on many stories like this, but based on preliminary reactions from teammates, no one saw this coming. At this point, nothing about the move makes a lick of sense. No history of playing baseball. Close friends taken by surprise. No reports of schools considered. This is a wait and see type of situation, and even then we may never know what happens to this kid.

The effect on Rutgers beleaguered secondary? At first glance, horrible. After more pensive though, devastating. You try to stay hopeful in the face of setbacks like this, but here's the reality: Lew Toler is likely done for the season with a broken arm. Ian Thomas was a solid, young CB who started three games. Between the two, that's eight starts out of twelve that will have to be filled by an extremely young roster. Redshirt junior Gareef Glashen should return soon, but his production is neither marginally better nor worse. Nadir Barnwell, who was torched by Bridgewater, and Anthony Cioffi are true freshmen who will now be thrust into significant roles.

You don't need to see the numbers to realize Rutgers is hurting in the secondary. This just adds to a disappointing season defensively, and could potentially come at the worst possible time with pass-happy Houston coming to Piscataway on the dreaded Homecoming weekend - a Saturday that has been disastrous for Rutgers in recent history.