Mark Edwards' In My Opinion: Hall of Fame disrespects ex-Tide star Derrick Thomas
by Mark Edwards
medwards@annistonstar.com
May 07, 2013 | 3956 views |  0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The College Football Hall of Fame slid just a little bit more into irrelevance today by declining to select Alabama All-America linebacker Derrick Thomas for induction. Again.

Thomas has been eligible for consideration since 1998. While at Alabama during 1985-88, he set the NCAA record for sacks in a season (27) and career (52). By comparison, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney ‹a strong 2013 Heisman candidate and the likely No. 1 draft pick in 2014‹ had 13 sacks this past season.

More important than statistics, Thomas helped spearhead evolution in the game ‹ he showed as much as anybody how much of an advantage it is to have speed rushers from the outside. He paved the way for Clowney and Georgia's Jarvis Jones, a linebacker whose 14.5 sacks led the nation last year.

The Hall of Fame has rules, including having all regions and positions represented each year. Also, the Hall tries not to take players from the same school in consecutive years, although nobody from Alabama was inducted in 2012.

Thomas, who died in 2000 from injuries sustained in a car wreck, was passed over in favor of Miami quarterback Vinny Testaverde, Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel, Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne, Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier, Ohio State offensive tack Orlando Pace, Arizona defensive end Tedy Bruschi, North Carolina State running back Ted Brown, Texas defensive back Jerry Gray, Kentucky end Steve Meilinger, Oklahoma linebacker Rod Shoate, Michigan State linebacker Percy Snow, Baylor quarterback Don Trull and two coaches: Bill McCartney and Wayne Hardin.

The College Football Hall of Fame is about college football accomplishment, so it doesn't matter that the pro football version inducted Thomas in 2009.

But can you look at his college numbers and impact and say he doesn't belong?

Sports Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter @MarkSportsStar.
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