Carlton Thomas, Nate Campbell

RB Carlton Thomas transferring from ‘Dawgs

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Though freshman Isaiah Crowell led Georgia in rushing last season, the Bulldogs’ depth at that position just got a little thinner.

The school announced today that senior-to-be Carlton Thomas was transferring from the program, though the release does not explicitly state why. However, Thomas has only two career starts in 27 games and a total of 159 carries for 725 yards and four touchdowns. With Georgia’s young and crowded backfield, more playing time in his final season easily could have been behind Thomas’ decision.

Thomas has also had his fair share of off-the-field issues as well. He was one of three UGA running backs suspended for a game last season for reportedly failing a drug test. Thomas was also suspended for UGA’s season-opener against Boise State for violation of team rules.

Below are statements from Thomas and coach Mark Richt:

Thomas: “This decision was based solely on the fact that this is my last year to play and my parents and I felt like it was the right move to make. I want to make more of an impact on the field. I didn’t want to disrupt Georgia’s team and preparation for next season so I made the final decision to leave earlier rather than later in the year.

I have learned a lot from the coaches during my time at Georgia and have grown as a man so I appreciate the opportunity that being a Bulldog has given me. I connected with the University of Georgia during my time in Athens on a personal level and will never forget the relationships I developed and the life lessons I learned.

“I know I will take everything I learned over the last several years and try to spread that knowledge wherever life takes me in the future.”

Richt: “Carlton came to me recently to discuss his thoughts. I understand his decision and appreciate all the contributions he’s made to our program. We wish him nothing but the very best in continuing his football career.”

Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

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Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.

With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.

Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.

At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas.  The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels.  He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.