For the second time in a couple of months, former Washington State Cougars starting safety Skyler Thomas has put his name into the transfer portal, and it appears his departure actually is imminent this time.
Back when the Pac-12 wasn’t going to play football and other conferences were moving ahead, Thomas expressed his desire to play. Like his teammate, Tay Martin, Thomas threw his name out there with the intent to transfer. Unlike his teammate, however, Thomas ended up returning to WSU.
Now we’re less than a week into preparations for the weird 2020 season, and Thomas is again looking to transfer. It’s an odd decision, on its face.
Even if Thomas finds a landing spot immediately, it seems really unlikely he’d play this season — everyone who’s playing this year has already started camp, and it’s hard to imagine the NCAA granting an immediate eligibility waiver like it did for Tay since Thomas is now leaving a program that is going to play this season. And Thomas is going to have another year of eligibility (if he wants it) whether he stays or leaves, so he seems to be giving up seven or eight games of experience — and game film for scouts — with this move.
It seems like the rational play, even if you wanted to leave, was to stick around for the year and then transfer. There’s really no downside, and lots of potential upside, so we’ll leave it up to you, the reader, to try and figure out what really happened.
“We had a talk yesterday and he feels like it’s the best thing for him right now, and we wish him nothing but the best,” Rolovich said. “There’s no ill will from either side, in my opinion. This is a real difficult time for all of these kids and I think right now we’ve just got to be as supportive as we can with them, and know who’s going to roll with us and who’s not. Skyler, we’ve been through a lot already in a short period, and I wish him nothing but the best in success in where he plays next.”
As for who could take Thomas spot at starting safety? There’s no shortage of candidates, and it’s conceivable that any one of them had already surpassed Thomas on the depth chart, given Thomas’, uh, spotty play over the past few seasons and his decision to leave.
Tyrese Ross got some run back there last season, as did Patrick Nunn (who also has played nickel, but might not fit there anymore in the new scheme). Daniel Isom played some safety last year, Phillip Powell is a grad transfer with loads of experience, and Halid Djibril is back as well. And there might be a name we don’t know about, given that nobody is allowed to watch practice!
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