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FSU LB Matthew Thomas Reportedly Ruled Ineligible for 2015 Season

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, FL - SEPTEMBER 21:  Matthew Thomas #12 of the Florida State Seminoles prepares for a play against the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats during a game at Doak Campbell Stadium on September 21, 2013 in Tallahassee, Florida.  Florida State won the game 54-6.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Florida State linebacker Matthew Thomas arrived on campus in 2013 with high expectations, but he has struggled to see the field and will not play a single down during the 2015 season.

Safid Deen of the Tallahassee Democrat noted that “redshirt sophomore Matthew Thomas has been ruled ineligible to play next season, a source confirmed to the Tallahassee Democrat on Tuesday.”

Deen also pointed out that Thomas was not expected to immediately contend for playing time this year because “he’s still recovering from shoulder surgery in the spring.”

Gene Williams of Warchant.com said that: “A Florida State source indicated that the staff is still hopeful that the redshirt sophomore will be able to return to the team next spring. If that happens, the Miami native will have two years of eligibility remaining starting next fall.”

Thomas was a 5-star recruit, per 247Sports’ composite rankings, and a major part of the Seminoles’ 2013 recruiting class, but he only played in four games in 2013 and eight games in 2014. He has dealt with injuries and off-field issues throughout his career and is yet to fulfill the expectations that surrounded him out of high school.

John Taylor of College Football Talk added more context:

To say that Matthew Thomas‘ time in Tallahassee has been adventurous would be a rather sizable understatement.  And, unfortunately, that adventure continues.

A five-star member of Florida State’s 2013 recruiting class who apparently preferred USC even as his mom didn’t, and who wanted a release to transfer to either USC or Georgia in May of that year, Thomas ultimately decided to stick with the Seminoles… and promptly saw his true freshman season wiped out by a shoulder injury.  The following season, Thomas was suspended for the first month and a half of the year because of an unspecified violation of team rules and then had ankle issues when he returned; he missed part of spring practice this year with another shoulder injury, and was ruled out of summer camp because of the same issue.

Although Thomas is less than 100 percent healthy, this is still a blow to the Florida State linebacker depth. Senior Reggie Northrup is still recovering from ACL surgery from January, and Tyrell Lyons, Ro’Derrick Hoskins, Delvin Purifoy and Sh’Mar Kilby Lane are all relatively unproven commodities and redshirt sophomores or younger entering the season.   

What’s more, the team is still waiting on the arrival of a transcript for junior college transfer Lorenzo Phillips so he can practice, per the Orlando Sentinel's Brendan Sonnone.

Florida State is still one of the best programs in the country and recruits talented playmakers every year, but this is a young linebacker core behind Northrup and Terrance Smith. It will need to step up and make plays this season without Thomas if the Seminoles hope to return to the College Football Playoff.

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