Carlton Thomas to transfer from Georgia

The battle for the Georgia running back job just lost one of its most veteran participants.

Carlton Thomas has decided not to return for his senior season. The announcement came prior to the Bulldogs' first practice of the spring on Tuesday.

"This decision was based solely on the fact that this is my last year to play, and my parents and I felt like it was the right move to make," Thomas said in a statement. "I want to make more of an impact on the field. I didn't want to disrupt Georgia's team and preparation for next season, so I made the final decision to leave earlier rather than later in the year."

Thomas rushed for 361 yards last season, but was suspended three different times.

Even with Thomas no longer in the mix, Georgia figures to have some fierce competition at the running back position. Isaiah Crowell returns for his sophomore season and flirted with 1,000 yards as a freshman. Also, heralded freshman Keith Marshall is already enrolled and will go through spring practice. Ken Malcome, Richard Samuel and Brandon Harton are three others who return, and all three have played.

Another touted freshman, Todd Gurley, will be on campus this summer.

So it was obvious that Thomas' carries were going to be limited, which is why he will look for a smaller school to play his final season of college football.