Derrick Thomas: NFL Hall of Famer


Thomas does everything but eat the quarterback alive in this game.

Today former Crimson Tide linebacker Derrick Thomas will be posthumously enshrined into the NFL Hall of Fame. While the honor will cement his legacy as a player in the pros, he is still remembered as one of the most potent defensive players in Alabama football history.

As a true freshman he played in 11 out of 12 games and started twice. In 1987 he broke the school's sack record, racking up a astonishing 18, surpassing the previous total of 11 set by Emanuel King in 1983. Then, the next year, he obliterated his own record by racking up an incredible 27 sacks over the course of the season.

Thomas was a consensus All-America and Dick Butkus Award winner finished 10th in the Heisman Trophy balloting in 1988. He was selected fourth in the 1989 NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs, the first defensive player selected. As a pro he was one of the most dominating defensive players of the 90s and was named to nine Pro Bowls although the honor was not his key motivation on the field.

"I don’t ever want it to be a question whether I’m a Pro Bowl-caliber player," he said after a game in 1997. "I believe I’m the best at what I do, and it’s my responsibility to play like I’m capable of playing and help this defense as much as possible."

These are the twelve records Thomas holds at Alabama according to the Alabama Media Guide (by way of The Birmingham News)

Blocked Kicks, Game: 2, at Kentucky, 1988 (tied for first)

Blocked Kicks, Career:

Sacks, Game: 5, at Texas A&M, 1988

Sacks, Season: 27, 1988

Sacks, Career: 52

Combined Sacks and Tackles for Losses, Game: 7, at Texas A&M, 1988

Combined Sacks and Tackles for Losses, Season: 39, 1988

Combined Sacks and Tackles for Losses, Career: 74

Quarterback Hurries, Game: 9, vs. Penn State, 1988

Quarterback Hurries, Season: 44, 1988 

Fumbles Forced, Season: 7, 1987

Fumbles Forced, Career: 10 (tied for first)

Also, the folks over at SB Nation blog Arrowhead Pride covering all things pertaining to the KC Chiefs say they will have coverage of the enshrinement today, so you might want to pop over there periodically and check it out.

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