Pro football legend Thurman Thomas will be recognized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company in Houston on Monday, May 14, as part of “Hometown Hall of Famers™,” a national program honoring the hometown roots of the sport’s greatest players with special ceremonies and plaque dedication events in local communities.
“’Hometown Hall of Famers™’ has been warmly embraced by communities and Hall of Famers alike,” said George Veras, Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises president and CEO. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Allstate to bring the Pro Football Hall of Fame to communities across the country and congratulate Thurman Thomas and the Willowridge High School Eagles on bringing a piece of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to Houston.”
A 13-year veteran of the league as running back for the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins and former high school standout at Willowridge High School in Missouri City, Thomas will be presented with his “Hometown Hall of Famer™” plaque during a special ceremony at 1:35 p.m., Monday, May 14, at the Willowridge High School auditorium, where the plaque will live permanently to serve as an inspiration for the school’s students and athletes. The presentation will be made by Neal Quillin, Thomas’ former football coach at Willowridge and a member of the Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor.
The ceremony will be attended by Willowridge High School students, faculty, staff, alumni and Thomas’ family members and close friends. Shaun McDowell, Willowridge High School athletic director, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.
In addition to the plaque, a commemorative Thurman Thomas “Hometown Hall of Famer™” road sign will be on display in Houston.
A three-year letterman at Willowridge High School, Thomas rushed for back-to-back 1,500 yard seasons in 1982 and 1983 to earn All-State and All-American honors. In the 1982 State Championship game, Thomas had 122 rushing yards and two touchdowns which led the Eagles to their 4A Texas State Championship title. After high school, Thomas attended Oklahoma State University where he amassed 4,595 rushing yards and 43 touchdowns, catapulting him into the school and conference record books while putting Stillwater, Okla., on the college football map in the mid 1980s. He was a Heisman Trophy candidate his senior year and was the first team selection on the College Football All-American Team in 1985 and 1987.
Selected by the Buffalo Bills in the second round of the 1988 NFL Draft, Thomas led the Bills to four straight Super Bowl appearances and was the AFC rushing leader in 1990, 1991 and 1993. He was named the 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, Thomas is 12th on the NFL all-time list for most rushing yards in a career and holds the all-time Buffalo Bills rushing record with 11,938 yards.
Named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s, Thomas was selected first- or second-team All-Pro and All-AFC five times. Thomas played his last season for the Miami Dolphins and finished his career with 12,074 yards, 472 receptions for 4,458 yards, and 88 touchdowns with 16,532 total yards from scrimmage.
Thomas was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007.