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August 13, 2012

Two Red Raiders leave team

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The Texas Tech football team has been hit with attrition in the two areas where it could least afford it -- offensive line and defensive back. The university announced Monday morning that sophomore safety Urell Johnson and senior offensive lineman Brian Thomas had left the program.

The loss of Thomas, a transfer from Texas A&M, is a big blow for the Red Raiders. He started 25 games for the Aggies before leaving the program at the end of last season and was expected to compete for a starting job in Lubbock.

Even though he had been on campus for more than two months by the time fall practice began, Thomas was noticeably out of shape. RedRaiderSports.com's Chris Level reported early Monday morning that, according to a source, Thomas "may not make it."

[ More RRS: What will the Red Raiders do now at OL? ]

"He's got too many physical issues," Tuberville said following Monday's practice. "He was second team, and went down to third team. Physically, he couldn't make it through a complete practice. I don't know whether he's going to make it or not. We'll just have to wait and see."

Johnson was not expected to make a significant contribution to the Red Raiders this season. He was buried on the team's depth chart behind redshirt freshman J.J. Gaines and junior college transfer Austin Stewart.

"He was down the depth chart," Tuberville said. "He wanted to try it and see where he was going to be going in the first week. He just didn't make a move up. He wanted to get close back to his mom back home."

Tuberville noted that Johnson would like to transfer to Southern Miss, and indicated he would grant his release.



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