UNIVERSITY PARK Penn State football coach Bill OBrien confirmed through the schools sports information department that junior cornerback Derrick Thomas has left the team due to personal reasons.
Thomass departure could spell trouble for an already thin Nittany Lion secondary. One of the Nittany Lions more experienced returning cornerbacks, Thomas was expected to compete for more playing time as a junior this season.
Among the six corners Penn State has listed on its roster, only senior Stephon Morris and sophomore Adrian Amos have seen extended playing time.
The remaining four, junior Mike Wallace, and sophomores
Jesse Della Valle, Patrick Flanagan and Devin Pryor, combined to play limited snaps in five games last season.
Thomas is the second Penn State player to leave the team for
personal reasons after wide receiver Devon Smith left the team last week.
Thomas was a highly coveted recruit out of Eleanore Roosevelt High School (Md.) who redshirted for Penn State in 2009.
He appeared in four games in 2010 a season that was shortened by then-head coach Joe Paterno for an undisclosed off-field incident. In nine games last season Thomas recorded four tackles.
In February, 2011, Thomas was cited for disorderly conduct by State College police after he and former teammate Curtis Drake were involved in a physical altercation with another man.
Thomas ran into academic issues last winter and did not travel with the team to the TicketCity Bowl.