Rodney Thomas Became An Icon at Groveton Before Starring at Texas A&M, NFL
Rodney Thomas accomplished more than most in the game of football. While he never won an NFL rushing title or celebrating a Super Bowl championship, his name will forever stand the test of time in the annals of football history in the state of Texas.
Thomas' journey began in the small, East Texas town of Groveton where he would become of one of the most productive high school running backs of all time.
With Thomas leading the way, Groveton captured back-to-back 2A state championships in 1989 and 1990. As a senior in '90 Thomas became the first back in state history to rush for 100 yards or more in all 16 games, finishing the year with 3,701, which still ranks fifth all-time.
His career rushing total of 8,441 yards is fifth on the all-time list, ranking behind Kenneth Hall, Johnathan Gray, Traylon Shead of Cayuga and Wes Danaher.
After high school, Thomas signed with Texas A&M. And what followed was the most successful five-year stint in A&M history. With Thomas, along with other future NFL RBs Greg Hill and Leeland McElroy, in the backfield the Aggies never at lost a conference game at Kyle Field (28-0-1).
Texas A&M led the Southwest Conference in rushing four consecutive seasons during Thomas' tenure. As an Aggie, Thomas finished with more than 3,000 and 45 touchdowns.
In 1995, the Houston Oilers selected Thomas in the third round of the NFL draft.
Thomas was one of only two rookies to eclipse 1,000 total yards from scrimmage, but the Oilers made Eddie George their No. 1 pick in the following year's draft, making Thomas' stay in Houston a short one.
From 1997-2001, Thomas played a lesser role for the Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons to close out his career.