The wait is over for Derrick Thomas. The former Alabama linebacker will be inducted posthumously into the College Football Hall of Fame this year, sources told ESPN.com on Wednesday.
It’s about time.
Thomas is remembered as one of the most dominant pass-rushers in SEC and college football history. During his senior season, he had a school record 27 sacks, earned unanimous first-team All-American, was named the SEC’s Defensive Player of the Year and won the Butkus Award. No. 1 NFL draft pick Jadeveon Clowney, by comparison, didn't have as many sacks in his entire career at South Carolina as Thomas did in 1988 alone.
The Crimson Tide legend finished his career as the school leader in sacks (52) and tackles for loss (68), two marks that still stand today. He’ll become the 24th former Alabama player or coach in the College Football Hall of Fame.
Thomas died at the age of 33 in 2000 following an automobile accident that left him paralyzed. In 2009, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after 11 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs and nine pro bowls.
The 2014 College Football Hall of Fame class, headlined by Thomas, will include 14 players and two coaches. They will be inducted Dec. 9 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.