LBs Thomas and Dansby Staying With Tigers

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn football Tigers will be playing with two of the nation's top college linebackers in 2003 with juniors Karlos Dansby and Dontarrious Thomas announcing on Tuesday they will return for their senior seasons.

Last week, another Auburn junior, tight end Robert Johnson, declared himself eligible for the National Football League draft.

Thomas makes a stop vs. Ole Miss as a sophomore when he led the Tigers in tackles. He and Dansby jointly announced that they will return for their senior seasons.

Dansby, a 6-5, 221-pounder from Woodlawn High in Birmingham, was a first team All-SEC selection by the league's coaches and the Associated Press. He finished the regular season with 70 tackles, including four quarterback sacks and 13 tackles behind the line of scrimmage for 50 yards in losses. He forced two fumbles, recovered two fumbles, deflected four passes and intercepted three, returning them for a total of 66 yards.

Karlos Dansby

Dansby, who made the move from safety to linebacker as a junior, was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week in Auburn's rout of LSU. He had eight tackles and two interceptions that day.

Thomas, a 6-4, 233-pounder from Perry, Ga., finished the season with 84 tackles despite being slowed much of the season by a knee problem. He returned to full speed down the stretch and that helped the Tiger defense finish with strong performances in the regular season finale victory at Alabama and in a bowl victory over Penn State.

Dontarrious Thomas

Thomas was credited with two sacks and 10 tackles for losses as he started 10 of Auburn's 12 regular season games and missed one completely due to his injury. He recovered two fumbles and defelected two passes.

As a junior, Thomas led the team with 122 tackles and was a second team All-SEC pick by AP. He was a Freshman All-SEC team member in 2000 as a redshirt freshman.

Thomas and Dansby will return to game action when the Tigers open the 2003 season in a rematch vs. Southern Cal on August 30th. The Tigers will begin spring drills on March 4th and play their annual A-Day scrimmage on April 5th.

Karlos Dansby is shown at an Auburn football practice. The linebacker is known for his big hits and big-play ability.


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