Mullen boots Thames from team after arrest

By Brad Locke

Dennis Thames stepped over the line one too many times.
Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said Friday that the sophomore defensive back had been dismissed from the team for multiple violations of team policy. Mullen did not specify what those violations were or how many were committed, and he declined further comment.
However, Thames was arrested Tuesday in Winston County for possession of marijuana and alcohol in a motor vehicle, according to The Dispatch. It’s the second known arrest of Thames, who could not be reached for comment.
On May 30, 2009 – just prior to his freshman year at MSU – Thames was arrested in Philadelphia for public intoxication.
This past season, Thames’ redshirt freshman year, he was suspended for the Oct. 23 game against UAB for an unspecified violation of team rules.
In 10 games last season, Thames recorded 10 tackles, one tackle-for-loss and two pass break-ups. Entering spring drills, he was listed second on the depth chart at strong safety behind senior Charles Mitchell and was expected to be a key member of the rotation.
MSU is deep at defensive back and can probably weather the loss.
Thames was one of the most highly touted players in State’s 2009 signing class, the first under Mullen. He was ranked the No. 20 athlete in the nation by Rivals.com as a senior and played in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Game. Thames led Louisville to the Class 3A state title as a senior.
Contact Brad Locke at 678-1571 or brad.locke@journalinc.com.