Reports: Derrick Thomas to lead College Football Hall of Fame class Thursday

Derrick Thomas. (Getty Images)


Derrick Thomas. (Getty Images)

Multiple reports say that former Alabama and Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Thomas will be in the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame class announced on Thursday.

Thomas had 27 sacks in the 1988 season for Alabama. Yes, 27. Last year's sack leader, Stanford's Trent Murphy, had 15.

It's an astonishing mark now, but even more of one given the era 25 seasons ago. As college offenses have started throwing the ball more, the most sacks by a player in the last 10 years has been 17. Elvis Dumervil did it in 2005 for Louisville and Von Miller in 2009 for Texas A&M.

After playing alongside Cornelius Bennett and Keith McCants at Alabama, Thomas was the No. 4 overall pick in the 1989 NFL draft by the Chiefs. He had 126.5 career sacks in the NFL despite his career being cut short in 2000 after he was in an automobile crash in Kansas City. 15 days after the crash on January 23, Thomas suffered a pulmonary embolism while in the hospital and died.

He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

The full College Football Hall of Fame class will likely contain 12-14 players and two coaches. The voting rules for the class are quite finicky and complicated. For example, a player can't be selected from the same school in consecutive years. Here's who else we think has a case to be selected along with Thomas on Thursday.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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