Derrick Thomas, maybe the best defensive player to ever suit up for the Crimson Tide, was finally selected for enshrinement into the College Football Hall of Fame, which will reopen this fall after moving to Atlanta.
His induction, which was leaked out a day before the May 22nd announcement, seemingly led to a unanimous reaction from Crimson Tide fans: “Great! But what took so long?”
Thomas holds the Southeastern Conference and Alabama records for career sacks with 52, but he isn’t credited with the sport’s all-time sacks record because the National Collegiate Athletic Association didn’t start including defensive statistics as part of the official records until 2000.
If it went back to 1980, he would be tied with Arizona’s Tedy Bruschi (1991-85), but his 27 sacks from 1988 would be the single-season record.
The 13 other players scheduled for induction are TCU running back LaDainian Tomlinson, Penn State linebacker Shane Conlan, North Carolina defensive back Dre Bly, Southern California tackle Tony Boselli, Purdue defensive tackle Dave Butz, Georgia Tech quarterback Joe Hamilton, Maine linebacker John Huard, Stanford running back Darrin Nelson, Louisiana Tech offensive lineman Willie Roaf, UCLA quarterback John Sciarra, South Carolina wide receiver Sterling Sharpe, McNeese State cornerback Leonard Smith and Mississippi tight end Wesley Walls.
Joining them will be two coaches, Mike Bellotti and Jerry Moore.