Derrick Vincent Thomas was born January 1, 1967 and died on February 8, 2000. The Hall of Fame linebacker played all 11 seasons with the Kansas Chiefs before his life was tragically cut short following complications from injuries sustained from a car crash. Today, we pay tribute to "D.T. on what would have been his 48th birthday.
Thomas was born in Miami, Florida, where he would grow up. Thomas lost his dad, an Air Force captain, during the Vietnam War. Thomas would persevere through the tragedy and star as an athlete. After starring in high school Thomas made his way to the University of Alabama.
While at Alabama, Thomas formed one of the best defenses in the country with Cornelius Bennett and later Keith McCants. Thomas would smash Crimson Tide records and set the NCAA record with 27 sacks in one season in the 1988 season, and would win the Butkus Award as the country's best linebacker. In 2014, Thomas was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.
The Kansas City Chiefs took Thomas with the fourth overall pick in the 1989 draft, where he'd spend his entire career. All Thomas did in his first year in the NFL was win Defensive Rookie of the Year and make the Pro Bowl. Over his 11-year career he made 9 Pro Bowls and was named a 9-time All-Pro. For his career, Thomas racked up 126.5 sacks, which is now good for 15th all time. His 7 sacks against the Seattle Seahawks in a game in 1990 is still the NFL record for most ever in a game.
Here's to you D.T. and your family.