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2012 NFL Draft: Shamarko Thomas Of Syracuse Will Return For 2012 Season

On the same day that senior defensive end Chandler Jones announced that he'd be forgoing his fourth year of eligibility at Syracuse University, Orange junior strong safety Shamarko Thomas said Friday via Twitter that he's returning for at least one more year.

"I've decided to put my NFL career on hold for another year and will remain at SU for another season to further develop myself as an athlete."

This season, Thomas (5-foot-10, 208-pounds) compiled 59 tackles, 40 solo, in 12 games. However, the junior is more known for his hard hitting and physical approach to the game than his overall play.

"If I had to guess," wrote Sean Keeley of the SB Nation Syracsue blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, "I'd say that Shamarko probably didn't like what we heard from the NFL Draft projections out there. Another year is sure to do him good in that department. And given the departure of Jones, Phil Thomas and the seniors, it's going to do SU good as well."

Thomas return is a good thing for a Syracuse defense that finished at the bottom of the Big East Conference and will already need to replace Jones and play-making safety Phillip Thomas, who was suspended for one year near the end of the 2011 season.

-- For more on Syracuse Orange football NFL Draft prospects, check back to this StoryStream. Need more reaction to Jones' possible departure, visit the SB Nation blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician.