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Countdown to kickoff: Derrick Thomas’ record 27 sack season will never be beaten

Derrick is the greatest pass rusher of all time, and it isn’t terribly close.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, Harbaugh.
Photo by PETER NEWCOMB/AFP via Getty Images

Alabama fans have been blessed with a bevy of outstanding linebackers for which to root over the years, but there will never be another Derrick Thomas. A favorite of many, the record 27 sacks he collected in 1988 still stands today and will likely never be broken.

Consider this:

Only three Division ! players have managed more than 18 sacks since they started tracking the statistic around the year 2000. The official leader, Terrell Suggs of Arizona State with 24, has a full four sacks more than Elvis Dumervil of Louisville, who ranks second at the FBS level. In other words, Thomas beat Suggs by 12.5%, and Dumervil by 35%, and Suggs’ top season was almost two decades ago at this point.

Thomas didn’t stop at the college level. He owns 126.5 sacks in the NFL, including the single game record of seven, set in 1990. Thomas also recorded six sacks in a separate game, a feat accomplished by only two other players in NFL history.

A tragic accident led to Derrick getting his wings in 2000, and he will never be forgotten. On the field he dominated without running his mouth, and off the field he was as fine a human as one will ever encounter. The Third and Long foundation he co-founded, in order to fight illiteracy in the Kansas City area, is still going strong today.

Enjoy some of Derrick’s Alabama highlights below.

We are now 27 days from kickoff.

Roll Tide.