OSU football: Cowboys took a risk with Devon Thomas — and lost

Felony complaints against Thomas have mounted since his arrest last week. Armed robbery. Shooting with intent to kill. Kidnapping. First-degree burglary. Conspiracy to commit a felony in what has been described as “an armed heist.”
by John Helsley Published: June 1, 2014

photo - Broken Arrow's Devon Thomas (right) breaks away from Myron Patrick into the end zone during a 6A playoff football game against Sand Springs at Broken Arrow High School on Friday, November 9, 2012. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World
Broken Arrow's Devon Thomas (right) breaks away from Myron Patrick into the end zone during a 6A playoff football game against Sand Springs at Broken Arrow High School on Friday, November 9, 2012. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World

Devon Thomas’ time as a Cowboy didn’t last long.

While he remains on the roster posted at the university’s official website, it’s only a matter of time before coach Mike Gundy announces that Thomas is gone from the program, right?

Felony complaints against Thomas have mounted since his arrest last week. Armed robbery. Shooting with intent to kill. Kidnapping. First-degree burglary. Conspiracy to commit a felony in what has been described as “an armed heist.”

Bad, bad stuff.

Gundy has a track record of acting swiftly to rid trouble from his program and his locker room. And no situation has been as troubling as this.

Truth is, for OSU, taking Thomas always represented taking a risk.

On and off the field.

As a skilled running back, he produced a superb sophomore season at Broken Arrow, rushing for 1,840 yards and 22 touchdowns as a sophomore. But he never came close to duplicating those numbers, failing even to match them in his final two seasons combined.

And rumors of trouble surfaced around him, with a suspension — for still unspecified reasons — limiting his junior season and raising warning flags.

Thomas was once committed to Oklahoma, but the Sooners backed off, for whatever reason. And Thomas flipped his pledge to the Cowboys before his senior year.

Somehow, Thomas maintained a premium prospect status with ESPN.com and Scout.com, carrying a four-star rating into OSU. And that was through a senior season in which many who watched him claimed him out of shape and less than motivated.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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