University of Miami

Miami wide receiver Jeff Thomas suspended Saturday for Georgia Tech game

The Miami Hurricanes will be without their most talented wide receiver Saturday against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Jeff Thomas won’t be on the field when Miami wraps up a five-game homestand at Hard Rock Stadium due to a violation of team rules, the Hurricanes announced ahead of the noon kickoff.

This is not the first time Thomas, whose 24 receptions are most among Miami wideouts, will miss a game for non-football reasons. The Hurricanes dismissed Thomas from the team before the regular-season finale last year. Thomas intended to transfer to the Illinois Fighting Illini before making an about-face and returning to Miami. He was the Hurricanes’ leading receiver in 2018 before he was dismissed.

This season, Thomas trails only star tight end Brevin Jordan in receptions and his 270 receiving yards are third most on the team. The junior also has six carries for 40 yards.

A reason for his absence Saturday was not specified beyond “a violation of team rules.”

Thomas started each of Miami’s first six games opposite fellow wide receiver K.J. Osborn. Mark Pope is listed as Thomas’ backup on the Hurricanes’ two-deep depth chart and could see an increase in playing time, as could fellow wide receivers Brian Hightower and Dee Wiggins.

Banner supports Manny Diaz

It has not been unusual to see banners flying above Hard Rock when Miami (3-3, 1-2 Atlantic Coast) has struggled in previous seasons. The banner flying in the Miami Gardens skies Saturday was a bit more uncommon.

Instead, the banner Saturday was flown in support of first-year coach Manny Diaz, who earned his first ACC win last week by guiding the Hurricanes to a 17-9 win against the then-No. 20 Virginia Cavaliers on Oct. 11.

“WE SUPPORT MANNY DIAZ & OUR HURRICANES #BEATGT,” the banner read.

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Miami Herald sports writer Susan Miller Degnan has been the Miami Hurricanes football beat writer since 2000, the season before the Canes won it all. She has won several APSE national writing awards and has covered everything from Canes baseball to the College Football Playoff to major marathons to the Olympics.
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