UK football: Dismissed brothers land at Alabama State

jsmith3@herald-leader.comAugust 25, 2013 

Two former Kentucky players who were dismissed from the team in July have landed at Alabama State.

According to a story in the Montgomery Advertiser, sophomore linebacker Pancho Thomas and his brother freshman running back Khalid Thomas are scheduled to begin workouts with Alabama State on Monday.

The Hornets will face Kentucky at Commonwealth Stadium on Nov. 2.

The Thomas brothers were released by new coach Mark Stoops after being cited for various drug possession charges, including possession of a controlled substance (mushrooms) on July 6 at the UK Arboretum.

About 10 days later, Stoops indicated that the incident was not an isolated one, leading to their dismissal.

"There have been some other incidents," he said at Southeastern Conference Media Day. "With us, we have a guideline and some policies and there are some strikes involved."

Khalid Thomas told the Montgomery Advertiser that the brothers wanted to stay together and play somewhere.

"It means a lot to have another opportunity to play football," he told the paper, calling his dismissal from Kentucky "a situation where you were in the right place but at the wrong time. Coach Stoops is a pretty good coach. I'm just sorry it didn't work out."

Hornets Coach Reggie Barlow told the paper that he spoke with the players' mother about their UK dismissal before deciding to let them come to Alabama State.

"In similar situations we've had a guy who's had a run-in or two, but obviously she's a lady who's raised them the right way," Barlow said.

The school has had 16 transfers from Division I programs in the past nine months.

As a freshman, Pancho Thomas had 12 total tackles in 10 games as a reserve middle linebacker and on special teams last season.

Khalid Thomas rushed 184 times for 1,471 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior for Godby High School. He was ranked as the nation's No. 27 all-purpose back by 247Sports.com.

The freshman running back likely won't see much action this season in a crowded backfield, but Pancho Thomas could be a good fit for the Hornets, his new coach said.

"Our outside linebacker is a position we want to be fast and athletic and that's what he is," Barlow said. "A guy with good size and runs to the ball, he would fit exactly the mold we're trying to get."

Jennifer Smith: (859) 231-3241. Twitter: @jenheraldleader. Blog: ukfootball.bloginky.com.

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