Oklahoma junior cornerback Jordan Thomas was arrested under suspicion of assault and battery, public intoxication and interference early Thursday morning.
Thomas is OU’s lone returning starting cornerback heading into the 2016 season, but this is not the first time he has had transgressions off the field. This latest one coming at 2:45 a.m. CST Thursday morning.
He spent a night in Grady County jail in mid-December after failing to appear in court following a traffic citation.
Last year Thomas missed the first quarter of the opening game against Akron because of an offseason, off the field incident. And most notably, Thomas was suspended by the team for OU’s game against Tulsa just 24 hours before kickoff last season.
“He let the team down. I’m not going to go into it, but that hurt us,” said Stoops last September. “When you’re the first guy and you get 70 percent of the reps through the week and you’re ready to play, and then Friday you’re not doing what you need to …”
Thomas had a stellar sophomore season after returning from his suspension with 46 tackles, five interceptions and nine passes defensed.
The usual punishment from Stoops has been a one-game suspension, and there’s no reason to suggest that won’t be the case here. If that’s true, Thomas would miss OU’s season opener against Houston on Sept. 3, a major blow going against quarterback Greg Ward and the high-powered Cougars attack.
If Thomas does indeed sit out, it’s going to be a major opportunity for guys like sophomore P.J. Mbanasor and senior Dakota Austin to step up and show why they deserve to be starters in the secondary.
Mbanasor started the Tulsa game last season because of Thomas’ suspension, while Austin did a phenomenal job filling in for Zack Sanchez when Sanchez injured his ankle midway through the season.
The bigger question is what is Thomas’ future in Norman and with the Sooners? Stoops has a strong history of not tolerating multiple offenses. He’s willing to give second chances, but Thomas has to be straddling that line when it comes to weighing the pros of him as a player vs. what he is doing off the field.
An OU spokesman said the program is aware of the situation and will handle it accordingly. Thomas was released around 11 a.m. CST Thursday morning. No charges have been filed.