SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The tumultuous collegiate career of Tavion Thomas has come to an end.
The day before Utah’s regular season finale, the Utes star running back declared for the NFL Draft and will not play Saturday against Colorado or in a bowl game.
Thomas said on Twitter that he suffered an injury against Oregon, and will now concentrate on getting ready to play in the East-West Shrine Game and train for the NFL Draft.
“Unfortunately, I injured my toe in our previous game,” Thomas said in the tweet. “Due to this, I am declaring for the NFL Draft and spending my time rehabbing and training for this next step in my football journey. I look forward to getting back and dominating in the Shrine Game.”
A transfer from Independence Community College in Kansas, Thomas earned first team All-Pac-12 honors in 2021, setting a Utah school record with 21 touchdowns to go along with 1,108 yards rushing, helping the Utes reach the Rose Bowl for the first time.
This season, Thomas has battled through injuries and personal problems, leaving the team for a period of time. He rushed for 687 yards and seven touchdowns this season for Utah.
Thomas’ aunt who raised him, passed away in September, and Thomas has struggled to get back on the field ever since. He did seem to turn a corner against Stanford, rushing for a career-high 180 yards and two touchdowns.
“Most importantly, I want to say thank you to every single person that embraced me here and gave me this opportunity that changed my life,” Thomas wrote on Twitter. “I will never forget the moments and memories I have here, and I will forever be a Ute.”
The Utes play its regular season finale Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at Colorado.