Thomas, a backup running back the past two seasons, carried the ball 43 times for 261 yards and one touchdown during the 2015 season. He added 11 catches for 200 yards and one score.
“Roc Thomas has asked for his release from Auburn and I have granted his request,” said Auburn coach Gus Malzahn, who met with Thomas and his parents over the Memorial Day weekend. “We wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”
Thomas rushed for 214 yards on 43 carries as a freshman and scored two touchdowns. He also caught six passes for 27 yards.
If Thomas plays for Jacksonville State he will be reuniting with his coach at Oxford High School, John Grass, who was head coach at JSU this past season. With the Gamecocks playing at the FCS level he should be eligible to play this fall. JSU lost just two games last season, to Auburn in the regular season and to North Dakota State in the FCS National Championship Game.
Roc Thomas had a collegiate career rushing high of 78 yards in 2015 vs. Idaho.
Thomas was an Under Armour All-American in high school who rushed for 2,211 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior.
Thomas finished third on the Auburn team in rushing behind Peyton Barber, who left early to try the NFL Draft, and Jovon Robinson, who emerged from spring training this year as the likely starter. Robinson rushed for 639 yards and was named the Most Valuable Player of Auburn's bowl victory over Memphis. Barber rushed for 1,016.
The Tigers return Kerryon Johnson, who rushed for 208 yards on 52 carries last year and scored three touchdowns last fall as a true freshman.
Two other sophomores worked at running back in spring training--Chandler Cox and Kamryn Pettway. Both saw action last season as fullback/H-backs and both won praise for their work at running back this spring.
Auburn has one true freshman running back on the 2016 roster, Malik Miller, an early high school graduate from Madison Miller participated in winter workouts and spring drills this year at AU.