#3 Pat Thomas
Position: Wide Receiver
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Thoughts: Thomas is an interesting story for Louisville. Pat was actually heading to UAB out of JUCO as a pretty talented dual-threat quarterback. Before signing day UAB’s coach decided to change jobs…and head to Louisville as the Offensive Coordinator. Thomas followed suit and after some discussion with Petrino decided shortly thereafter to join McGee as a Cardinal. (As a side note, his one season in JUCO Pat lead Georgia Military to a 11-1 record and an appearance in the NJCAA Championship Game were they ultimately lost to…East Mississippi Community College of ‘Last Chance U’ fame. Damn you Buddy Stephens)
Pat battled for some time at QB coming in but Gardiner won the job and Petrino saw the future at the position with Will and Reggie and decided to move Pat to wideout last year. Thomas without a doubt has the size to compete at this level but I think has simply fallen victim to depth in terms of his playing time. Tough to argue moving Staples, Savage, Quick, Smith, etc out of the rotation to get Thomas more reps but I think he could perform if called upon. He got a few reps against Samford last year and I’d love to see him get some run against Charlotte, Syracuse, Wake, BC, and a couple other teams I expect us to beat up on a little. One thing to keep in mind is that with the recent shift of some taller wideouts to the opposite side of the ball I wouldn’t completely rule out Thomas making the same move if necessary. CTY and Alphonso Carter appear to be doing alright over there but I think Thomas and his 6-4/190 frame could excel as well if needed.
I only need people around me who are trying to be successful— Pat Thomas (@3_Clutch) March 21, 2016
It’s like they always say…if you’re the smartest man in the room,
you’re in the wrong room be sure to let all those dumb people know about it.
Get on my level losers.
#3 Cornelius Sturghill
Class: RS Sophomore
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Thoughts: After taking a redshirt and then seeing limited action last year due to our experience in the secondary I felt like many had forgotten about the very talented Sturghill heading into this season. He was a nice get for the Cards back in 2014 after originally being committed to Wisconsin and getting some late love from Mizzou, Missisisppi State, and UCLA. Petrino and Tony Grantham let Cornelius cut his teeth on special teams last year working with the return team and actually returning a handful of punts against BC and Wake. In the Spring Sturghill performed well both on the field and during testing, registering a Top 5 vertical (39”) and was crowned the ‘fastest man on the team’ with a 4.20sec 40 yard dash. Things were setting up nicely for Sturghill to see an increase in his role this year on both special teams and defense…then he decided to head back home.
At the beginning of Fall camp Sturghill’s absence was noted and Petrino relayed the unfortunate news that Sturghill, on a last minute decision to go back home for a few days prior to camp, was the victim of a stray bullet in a drive-by shooting. The bullet struck Cornelius’ foot and ultimately required immediate surgery. Thankfully at this point Sturghill appears to be recovering nicely and will continue to work towards a return in 2017. Thomas is from around the same area as former Cardinal basketball player Chris Jones, growing up in a not so great area just outside of downtown Memphis, TN. Not exactly known as the safest place in the country. You could tell Petrino, Grantham, and Heyward were all upset about the situation and disappointed for a kid who had put in tons of work to improve his position on the team the last few months.
Things could have been much worse, and it’s situations like this that are a humble reminder about how life can change in an instant. I’m extremely relieved that Cornelius wasn’t more seriously injured and wish him the best in his recovery. We’ll be looking for you in 2017 my man.
My grandmother just tried to be my friend on social media sorry Granny !— Cornelius Sturghill (@boomane_6) August 8, 2016
Don’t hold your breath for that ‘Werther’s Original’ next time you pop in on grams. Do her a solid and put her in your Top 10 on MySpace. She’ll never know the difference.