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Thurman Lee Thomas (born May 16, 1966) is a former American football player who was a running back in the National Football League
National Football League
(NFL) for the Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
and Miami Dolphins. Thomas was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Pro Football Hall of Fame
in 2007 and into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008. Thomas was an important part of the Bills "no-huddle offense" that won four consecutive AFC championships.

Contents

1 Early years 2 College athletic career 3 Athletic career

3.1 Buffalo Bills

3.1.1 Super Bowl
Super Bowl
XXV 3.1.2 Super Bowl
Super Bowl
XXVI 3.1.3 Super Bowl
Super Bowl
XXVII 3.1.4 Super Bowl
Super Bowl
XXVIII

3.2 Miami Dolphins 3.3 Retirement, Pro Football Hall of Fame

4 Personal life 5 References 6 External links

Early years[edit] Thomas was born in Houston, Texas. He grew up playing football on the Missouri City Junior High School (now Missouri City Middle School) and Willowridge High School teams. During the 1982-83 season, Thomas led the Willowridge football team to a Texas Class 4A State Title. He formerly resided in the Willow Park II subdivision, located southeast of the Fort Bend Tollway and Beltway 8. College athletic career[edit] Thomas attended college at Oklahoma State University where he was an upperclassman teammate of running back Barry Sanders. At Oklahoma State, Thomas had 897 rushes for 4,595 yards, 43 touchdowns, 5,146 total yards, and 21 100-yard rushing games. He was also a Heisman Trophy candidate in his senior year, finishing seventh in voting.[2] He was a first team selection on the College Football All-America Team in 1985[3] and 1987. Thomas led the Big Eight in rushing and scoring in 1985 and 1987 and was voted the conference's Offensive Player of the Year both seasons. Thurman Thomas
Thurman Thomas
starred as a sophomore in 1985 when he posted 1,553 yards rushing, fourth best in the country. Between his sophomore and junior seasons he suffered a tear to his ACL in his left knee, missing some games during the 1986 season. He bounced back his senior season, rushing for 1,613 yards and finishing third nationally in rushing. From 1984-87, Thomas carried the ball a remarkable 898 times for the Cowboys, the most rushing attempts in a career in Oklahoma State history.[4] In the 1987 Sun Bowl, Thomas ran for 157 yards and four touchdowns in the 35-33 comeback victory over West Virginia, keeping freshman Barry Sanders on the sidelines for the majority of the game. Thomas left OSU as the school's all-time leading rusher and his number 34 is one of only three jerseys retired at Oklahoma State. In 2008, Thomas was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame. Athletic career[edit] Buffalo Bills[edit] A knee injury damaged Thomas's certain first round pick status and caused him to slip into second round (40th overall) of the 1988 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, their first choice in the draft. Thomas is well known as part of the offense that included Jim Kelly
Jim Kelly
and Andre Reed, which led the Bills to four straight Super Bowl
Super Bowl
appearances. Thomas was the AFC rushing leader in 1990, 1991, and 1993. In the first three seasons of his career, Thomas had a total of 12 games with at least 100 yards rushing. The Bills won every one of those games. In 1989 and 1990, his combined total yards from scrimmage was 3,742. This was more than 200 yards better than any other player in the NFL. He was voted to the All-Pro team in 1990 and 1991, was selected to 5 straight Pro Bowls from 1989–1993, and was named NFL's Most Valuable Player in 1991, after becoming the 11th player in NFL history to finish a season with over 2,000 all-purpose yards. Currently, he is 15th on the NFL all-time list for most rushing yards in a career. Thomas currently holds the all-time Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
rushing record with 11,938 yards and the team record for yards from scrimmage with 16,279 over 12 years. He is also 4th overall in team scoring. Overall, Thomas finished his 13 seasons (his 13th season he played for Miami) with 12,074 rushing yards, 472 receptions for 4,458 yards, and 88 touchdowns (65 rushing and 23 receiving) with 16,532 total yards from scrimmage. Thomas is the only player in NFL history to lead the league in total yards from scrimmage for four consecutive seasons. He is one of only six running backs to have over 400 receptions and 10,000 yards rushing. Walter Payton, Marshall Faulk, Marcus Allen, Tiki Barber, and LaDainian Tomlinson
LaDainian Tomlinson
are the other five. Thomas is also one of five running backs to have rushed for over 1,000 yards in 8 consecutive seasons along with Curtis Martin, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith
Emmitt Smith
and Tomlinson. Thomas also set NFL playoff records with the most career points (126), touchdowns (21), and consecutive playoff games with a touchdown (9). Overall, he rushed for 1,442 yards and caught 76 passes for 672 yards in his 21 postseason games. In a 1989 playoff loss to the Cleveland Browns, Thomas recorded 13 receptions for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns, which was a postseason record for receptions by a running back and tied tight end Kellen Winslow's record for most receptions in a playoff game. At the time of his retirement, his 76 postseason receptions ranked him 4th all time, and to this day he remains the only running back among the NFL's top 10 leaders in that category. Super Bowl
Super Bowl
XXV[edit] Thomas had an outstanding performance in Super Bowl
Super Bowl
XXV, rushing for 135 yards and a touchdown, while also catching 5 passes for 55 yards. He would have almost certainly won the Super Bowl
Super Bowl
MVP award, but the Bills lost the game 20-19 when kicker Scott Norwood missed a 47-yard field goal attempt with 8 seconds remaining. Some fans and sports writers, such as Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
writer Paul Zimmerman,[5] have argued that Thomas had the best performance of the game, so therefore he should have won the MVP award even though his team lost. He had far more yards and catches than New York Giants running back Ottis Anderson, who won the MVP. His performances in the Bills other postseason games that year were also superb. He rushed for a total of 255 yards, caught 8 passes for 99 yards, and scored 3 touchdowns in their 2 playoff games prior to the Super Bowl. Super Bowl
Super Bowl
XXVI[edit] Thomas is noted for a mishap in Super Bowl
Super Bowl
XXVI. Thomas had a pre-game ritual where he placed his helmet at the 34-yard line. His helmet was moved in order for the stage to be set up for Harry Connick, Jr.
Harry Connick, Jr.
to perform the national anthem. This caused Thomas to miss Buffalo's first two offensive plays.[6] He went on to gain just 13 rushing yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. He also caught 4 passes for 27 yards. On August 8, 2009, during teammate Bruce Smith's Hall of Fame induction speech, while he was acknowledging his relationship with Thomas, Bruce proclaimed "I hid your helmet!" Following the ceremony on NFL Total Access, Bruce indicated this was merely a joke. Super Bowl
Super Bowl
XXVII[edit] Thomas scored the first points of the game for his team on a 2-yard touchdown run, but was limited to just 19 rushing yards on 11 carries and 4 receptions for 10 yards in Buffalo's 52-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Thomas was still recovering from a hip injury he suffered in the first game of the postseason. As a result, running back Kenneth Davis got the majority of carries in the game. Thomas also committed a costly fumble that was converted into a Dallas touchdown. Super Bowl
Super Bowl
XXVIII[edit] Thomas had another disappointing Super Bowl
Super Bowl
performance in this game, which the Bills lost to the Cowboys 30-13. He scored the only touchdown of the game for his team, but was limited to just 37 rushing yards on 16 carries. He was a reliable target as a receiver out of the backfield, catching 7 passes for 52 yards but he lost 2 fumbles that led to 10 Dallas points. Miami Dolphins[edit] Thomas signed with the Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins
during the 2000 off-season. He suffered a knee injury on November 12, 2000 against the San Diego Chargers which ended his NFL career. In his only season with the Dolphins, Thomas ran for 136 yards on 28 carries and no rushing touchdowns and 16 receptions 117 yards and one receiving touchdown in nine games. Retirement, Pro Football Hall of Fame[edit] After deciding to retire, Thomas signed a one-day ceremonial contract on February 27, 2001 with the Bills. Thurman Thomas
Thurman Thomas
was first eligible for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006. In that year, he made it to the list of ten finalists, but was not one of the six players elected to the Hall that year. He was selected on February 3, 2007, to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Thomas joined his former quarterback Jim Kelly
Jim Kelly
and wide receiver James Lofton
James Lofton
in the Hall of Fame. Thomas, Steve Tasker, Andre Reed, Bruce Smith, Don Beebe, and Jim Kelly were the subject of the 30 for 30
30 for 30
film, Four Falls of Buffalo. Personal life[edit] Thomas is married to Patti Mariacher, who is from Buffalo and was on the Oklahoma State University golf team. They have four children, Olivia, Angel, Annika, and Thurman III.[7] He is involved with several business enterprises including sports, energy, telecommunications and construction.[8] He was appointed as vice chair of the New York State Tourism Advisory Council in 2014.[9] Thomas has been involved in community issues since early in his career, establishing the Thurman Thomas
Thurman Thomas
Foundation in 1992.[10] He has talked about mental health and the effects of concussions suffered during his football career.[11][12] References[edit]

^ "No more doubting Thomas: Bills' back selected as Offensive Player of Year". The Victoria Advocate. Associated Press. December 30, 1991. p. B1. Retrieved July 6, 2016.  ^ "1987 Heisman Trophy Voting". Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 2017-06-10.  ^ Thomas also finished 10th in Heisman voting in 1985, Sports-Reference.com: 1985 Heisman Trophy Voting Archived 2011-10-10 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-11-05. Retrieved 2014-11-05.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-07-21. Retrieved 2006-07-06.  ^ "Oklahoma State's Thurman Thomas
Thurman Thomas
Still Living Down Super Bowl
Super Bowl
Gaffe – Lostlettermen.com". Archived from the original on 2011-09-24.  ^ "Up Close With Thurman Thomas: Conversations on Life After The Game and Fatherhood". www.nflplayerengagement.com. Retrieved 14 January 2018.  ^ "About Us". 3480 Group, LLC. Retrieved 14 January 2018.  ^ "Governor Cuomo Announces the Appointment of Former Buffalo Bills Running Back Thurman Thomas
Thurman Thomas
to the New York State Tourism Advisory Board". Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. 28 September 2014.  ^ Lieber, Jill (February 1, 1993). "Mistaken Identity". SI.com. Retrieved January 14, 2018.  ^ Spiteri, Ray (April 22, 2016). "NFL legend breaks silence about concussions". Niagara Falls Review. Retrieved January 14, 2018.  ^ Kawaya, Jordan (December 14, 2017). " Thurman Thomas
Thurman Thomas
gives back in life after football". www.wnypapers.com. Retrieved January 14, 2018. 

External links[edit]

Career statistics and player information from NFL.com • ESPN • Yahoo! Sports • SI.com • Pro-Football-Reference Thurman Thomas
Thurman Thomas
Official Website

Thurman Thomas—awards and honors

v t e

1985 College Football All-America Team
College Football All-America Team
consensus selections

Offense

QB Chuck Long RB Reggie Dupard RB Bo Jackson RB Napoleon McCallum RB Thurman Thomas RB Lorenzo White WR Tim McGee WR David Williams TE Willie Smith

OT Jim Dombrowski OT Brian Jozwiak G Jeff Bregel G Jamie Dukes G J. D. Maarleveld G John Rienstra C Peter Anderson

Defense

DL Tony Casillas DL Tim Green DL Mike Hammerstein DL Leslie O'Neal DL Mike Ruth

LB Brian Bosworth LB Johnny Holland LB Larry Station

DB Brad Cochran DB David Fulcher DB Scott Thomas

Special
Special
teams

K John Lee P Barry Helton

v t e

Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
1988 NFL draft selections

Thurman Thomas Bernard Ford Ezekial Gadson Kirk Roach Dan Murray Bo Wright Tim Borcky John Hagy Jeff Wright Carlton Bailey Martin Mayhew Pete Curkendall John Driscoll Wayne Ross Tom Erlandson

v t e

Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player
NFL Most Valuable Player
Award winners

1957: J. Brown 1958: J. Brown 1959: Unitas 1960: Van Brocklin 1961: Hornung 1962: J. Taylor 1963: Tittle 1964: Unitas 1965: J. Brown 1966: Starr 1967: Unitas 1968: Morrall 1969: Gabriel 1970: Brodie 1971: Page 1972: L. Brown 1973: Simpson 1974: Stabler 1975: Tarkenton 1976: Jones 1977: Payton 1978: Bradshaw 1979: Campbell 1980: Sipe 1981: Anderson 1982: Moseley 1983: Theismann 1984: Marino 1985: Allen 1986: L. Taylor 1987: Elway 1988: Esiason 1989: Montana 1990: Montana 1991: Thomas 1992: Young 1993: Smith 1994: Young 1995: Favre 1996: Favre 1997: Favre & Sanders 1998: Davis 1999: Warner 2000: Faulk 2001: Warner 2002: Gannon 2003: Manning & McNair 2004: Manning 2005: Alexander 2006: Tomlinson 2007: Brady 2008: Manning 2009: Manning 2010: Brady 2011: Rodgers 2012: Peterson 2013: Manning 2014: Rodgers 2015: Newton 2016: Ryan 2017: Brady

v t e

Associated Press NFL Offensive Player of the Year
NFL Offensive Player of the Year
Award winners

1972: Brown 1973: Simpson 1974: Stabler 1975: Tarkenton 1976: Jones 1977: Payton 1978: Campbell 1979: Campbell 1980: Campbell 1981: Anderson 1982: Fouts 1983: Theismann 1984: Marino 1985: Allen 1986: Dickerson 1987: Rice 1988: Craig 1989: Montana 1990: Moon 1991: Thomas 1992: Young 1993: Rice 1994: Sanders 1995: Favre 1996: Davis 1997: Sanders 1998: Davis 1999: Faulk 2000: Faulk 2001: Faulk 2002: Holmes 2003: Lewis 2004: Manning 2005: Alexander 2006: Tomlinson 2007: Brady 2008: Brees 2009: Johnson 2010: Brady 2011: Brees 2012: Peterson 2013: Manning 2014: Murray 2015: Newton 2016: Ryan 2017: Gurley

v t e

NFL players with 10,000 rushing yards

Emmitt Smith Walter Payton Barry Sanders Curtis Martin Frank Gore LaDainian Tomlinson Jerome Bettis Eric Dickerson Tony Dorsett Jim Brown Marshall Faulk Adrian Peterson Edgerrin James Marcus Allen Franco Harris Thurman Thomas Fred Taylor Steven Jackson John Riggins Corey Dillon O. J. Simpson Warrick Dunn Ricky Watters Jamal Lewis Thomas Jones Tiki Barber Eddie George Ottis Anderson LeSean McCoy Ricky Williams Marshawn Lynch

Italics denotes active player

v t e

National Football League
National Football League
NFL's 1990s All-Decade Team

Brett Favre John Elway Barry Sanders Emmitt Smith Terrell Davis Thurman Thomas Cris Carter Jerry Rice Tim Brown Michael Irvin Shannon Sharpe Ben Coates Willie Roaf Gary Zimmerman Tony Boselli Richmond Webb Bruce Matthews Randall McDaniel Larry Allen Steve Wisniewski Dermontti Dawson Mark Stepnoski Bruce Smith Reggie White Chris Doleman Neil Smith Cortez Kennedy John Randle Warren Sapp Bryant Young Kevin Greene Junior Seau Derrick Thomas Cornelius Bennett Hardy Nickerson Levon Kirkland Deion Sanders Rod Woodson Darrell Green Aeneas Williams Steve Atwater LeRoy Butler Carnell Lake Ronnie Lott Darren Bennett Sean Landeta Morten Andersen Gary Anderson Mel Gray Michael Bates Bill Parcells Marv Levy

v t e

Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
50th Anniversary Team (2009)

Offense Jim Kelly
Jim Kelly
(QB) Thurman Thomas
Thurman Thomas
(RB) Andre Reed
Andre Reed
(WR) Eric Moulds
Eric Moulds
(WR) James Lofton
James Lofton
(WR) Pete Metzelaars (TE) Jim Ritcher (G) Ruben Brown (G) Joe DeLamielleure
Joe DeLamielleure
(G) Billy Shaw
Billy Shaw
(G) Kent Hull (C)

Defense Bruce Smith (DE) Tom Sestak (DT) Fred Smerlas (DT) Darryl Talley
Darryl Talley
(LB) Mike Stratton (LB) Cornelius Bennett (LB) Shane Conlan (LB) Butch Byrd (CB) Nate Odomes (CB) George Saimes
George Saimes
(S) Henry Jones (S)

Special
Special
teams Steve Christie (PK) Brian Moorman
Brian Moorman
(P) Steve Tasker (Gunner)

Coach Marv Levy

v t e

Pro Football Hall of Fame
Pro Football Hall of Fame
Class of 2007

Gene Hickerson Michael Irvin Bruce Matthews Charlie Sanders Thurman Thomas Roger Wehrli

v t e

Members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Quarterbacks

Pre-modern era

Baugh Clark Conzelman Driscoll Friedman Herber Luckman A. Parker

Modern era

Aikman Blanda Bradshaw L. Dawson Elway Favre Fouts Graham Griese Jurgensen J. Kelly Layne Marino Montana Moon Namath Stabler Starr Staubach Tarkenton Tittle Unitas Van Brocklin Warner Waterfield Young

Running backs

Pre-modern era

Battles Canadeo Dudley Grange Guyon Hinkle Lambeau Leemans McAfee McNally Nagurski Nevers Pollard Strong Thorpe Van Buren

Modern era

M. Allen Bettis J. Brown Campbell Csonka T. Davis Dickerson Dorsett Faulk Gifford Harris Hornung J. H. Johnson L. Kelly F. Little Martin Matson McElhenny Moore Motley Payton Perry Riggins B. Sanders Sayers Simpson E. Smith Jim Taylor T. Thomas Tomlinson Trippi Walker

Wide receivers / ends

Pre-modern era

Badgro Chamberlin Flaherty Halas Hewitt Hutson Millner

Modern era

Alworth Berry Biletnikoff T. Brown Carter Fears Harrison Hayes Hirsch Irvin Joiner Largent Lavelli Lofton Maynard McDonald Mitchell Monk Moss Owens Pihos Reed Rice Stallworth Swann C. Taylor Warfield

Tight ends

Casper Ditka Mackey Newsome C. Sanders Sharpe J. Smith Winslow

Offensive linemen

L. Allen B. Brown R. Brown Creekmur D. Dawson DeLamielleure Dierdorf Gatski Gregg Grimm Hannah Hickerson S. Jones W. Jones Kramer Langer L. Little Mack Matthews McCormack McDaniel Mix Munchak Muñoz Ogden Otto Pace J. Parker Ringo Roaf Shaw Shell Shields Slater St. Clair Stanfel Stephenson Tingelhoff Upshaw Webster Wright Yary Zimmerman

Pre-modern era two-way players

Edwards Fortmann Healey Hein Henry Hubbard Kiesling Kinard Lyman Michalske Musso Owen Stydahar Trafton Turner Wojciechowicz

Defensive linemen

Atkins Bethea Buchanan Culp W. Davis Dean Dent Doleman Donovan Eller Ford J. Greene Haley Hampton Humphrey D. Jones Jordan Kennedy Lilly Long Marchetti Nomellini Olsen Page Randle Robustelli Sapp Selmon B. Smith Stautner Strahan Ja. Taylor Weinmeister Ra. White Re. White Willis Youngblood

Linebackers

Bednarik Bo. Bell Brazile Brooks Buoniconti Butkus Carson Connor George K. Greene Ham Hanburger Hendricks Huff Jackson Lambert Lanier Lewis Nitschke Richter Robinson Schmidt Seau Singletary L. Taylor D. Thomas Tippett Urlacher Wilcox

Defensive backs

Adderley Barney Blount W. Brown Butler Christiansen Dawkins Easley Green Haynes Houston J. Johnson Krause Lane Lary LeBeau Lott Renfro D. Sanders E. Thomas Tunnell Wehrli Williams L. Wilson Wood Woodson

Placekickers and punters

Andersen Groza Guy Stenerud

Coaches

G. Allen P. Brown Chamberlin Conzelman Dungy Ewbank Flaherty Gibbs Gillman Grant Halas Lambeau Landry Levy Lombardi Madden Neale Noll Owen Parcells Shula Stram Walsh

Contributors

Beathard Be. Bell Bidwill Carr A. Davis DeBartolo Finks Halas Hunt J. Jones Lambeau T. Mara W. Mara Marshall Polian Ray Reeves A. Rooney D. Rooney Rozelle Sabol Schramm R. Wilson Wolf

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 533611

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