Hempfield graduate RJ Thomas transfers to West Liberty
College Football Videos
Former Hempfield football player R.J. Thomas has a new college home.
Thomas, a 6-foot-1, 230-pound running back, transferred to West Liberty from California (Pa.). Both schools compete in NCAA Division II but are in different conferences.
“I can't wait to get started,” said Thomas, a junior who played three seasons at California, a member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
An injury that cut short his sophomore season has Thomas hoping to add a year of eligibility at West Liberty, which plays in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
“We're in the process of getting a (medical) redshirt,” he said. “Cal has to initiate it. It's not automatic, but I meet all the criteria.”
Thomas, a 2010 graduate of Hempfield, started in all 11 games at California in 2012 and was used mainly as a short-yardage and third-down back. He was released from his scholarship as part of the school's efforts to reduce its budget.
“I was disappointed they released me, but I can't say enough good things about the people at Cal,” Thomas said. “I'm ecstatic that the athletic director and coaching staff went out of their way to find me a place to play. I'm really grateful for the opportunity. Coming out of high school, West Liberty was my second college choice behind Cal.”
Thomas, a journalism and communications major who caught 15 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns in 2012, said he received 75 percent funding of a full scholarship at California but will get 90 percent from West Liberty.
“The coaches and administration at Cal did everything they could for me,” he said. “My teammates were wonderful and the coaches were wonderful. It was the highest quality. It was outstanding.”
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Plum grad tabbed as Edinboro offensive coordinator
- Former California teammates may soon be college rivals