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Thomas plans to get degree, move to Oklahoma

By Mike Baldwin Published: August 7, 2006
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Thurman Thomas left Oklahoma State's golf media day last week at Karsten Creek and drove straight to Oak Tree in Edmond.

Practice report
Q&A with Mike Hamilton

No, Thomas didn't play two of the nation's top courses in one day. Thomas was house hunting with PGA pro Scott Verplank.

The all-time leading rusher in school history, one of the top running backs in NFL history, Thomas said he and his family will leave Orlando, Fla., and move to Oklahoma. The only question is when.

"I've been thinking about this for a long time," Thomas said. "You go through different phases in your life. Mine was Oklahoma State, Buffalo Bills and then I retired. Now it's like starting the second phase of my life."

Thomas enrolled at OSU last week. He plans to finish his degree the next year to 18 months. Most courses will be taken online. When Thomas eventually moves to Oklahoma, don't expect him to have an office in the new football west end zone complex scheduled to be completed in 2009.

"Playing 13 years in the NFL, I spent enough time away from my kids," Thomas said. "I know how much time coaches spend doing their jobs. I would like to be a spokesman for Oklahoma State, go to fund raisers, talk to recruits coming in. It wouldn't just be for the football team. I'd like to do it for all aspects of the athletic department."

Thomas said he will consider moving to Stillwater but most likely will choose Edmond. The move could take place later this year. He might wait until 2007, possibly 2008.

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Sizing up the schedule
Sept. 2, Missouri State, 6 p.m.: The Bears had 10 Oklahomans on their roster last season.

Sept. 9, Arkansas State (Little Rock, Ark.), 6:05 p.m.: The Indians return nine defensive starters.

Sept. 16, Florida Atlantic, 6 p.m.: Among three QB candidates, Sean Clayton, who transferred from Michigan State in 2003, is the favorite to win the job.

Sept. 23, at Houston, 8 p.m.: The Cougars went to the Forth Worth Bowl but lost to SMU, Central Florida and Kansas.

Oct. 7, at Kansas State, TBA: Three quarterbacks have started games, but true freshman Josh Freeman has the most talent.

Oct. 14, at Kansas, TBA: OSU is 4-0 against the Jayhawks in the Big 12 era, but Kansas won the final six meetings in the old Big Eight.

Oct. 21, Texas A&M, 6 p.m.: The Aggies return 14 starters but lost their top passer (Reggie McNeal), top receiver (Jason Carter) and three of their top five tacklers.

Oct. 28, Nebraska, 6 p.m.: A road trip to USC (Sept. 16) is daunting, but the Cornhuskers could be favored in nine or 10 games this season.

Nov. 4, at Texas, TBA: The Longhorns return seven starters on defense, led by safety Michael Griffin, Texas' leading tackler (124) last season.

Nov. 11, Baylor: The Bears' biggest concern is the loss of their top four tacklers from last season.

Nov. 18, at Texas Tech, TBA: A plus-9 rating was the best turnover margin in coach Mike Leach's seven seasons.

Nov. 25, Oklahoma, 1:30 p.m.: Against Big 12 opponents, the Sooners led the league in total defense, allowing 291.0 yards a game.

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