Blair Lamar Thomas
(born October 7
in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
) is a former professional American football
player and coach. He played running back
for six seasons in the National Football League
Thomas was selected by the New York Jets
in the first round (#2 overall) of the 1990 NFL draft
, Thomas's NFL
playing career spanned six seasons. Despite leading NFL rookies
in yards-per-carry and AFC rookies
in total yardage, he is widely considered another in a long line of Jets draft disappointments. Thomas rushed for only 2,000 yards and 5 touchdowns
in his 4 seasons with the Jets
He suffered a series of nagging injuries beginning in 1992 and was released by the Jets following the 1993 season. He began the 1994 season with the New England Patriots, but finished it with the Dallas Cowboys. He concluded his NFL career with the Carolina Panthers in 1995.
Thomas is known for two notorious fumbles: one where he lost a crucial fumble against the Chicago Bears
, and another which denied them a win versus the Cleveland Browns
in the regular season
Thomas served as running backs
coach at Temple University
for 8 seasons, from 1998-2005. He played a key role in the development of Chicago Bears fullback Jason McKie
, and Jacksonville Jaguars running back Stacey Mack
. Thomas was responsible for recruiting Philadelphia
and Eastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey. He was also the team’s NFL liaison and summer football camp coordinator.
Thomas also serves as a volunteer instructor for Football University.
In 2008, Thomas and several other ex-NFLers, conducted a youth football camp in Barrow, Alaska. Barrow is so remote it is only accessible by airplane, and the local high school asked Football University for help with the difficult task of building a football program from scratch there.
A member of Penn State University
's 1986 National Championship
team, Thomas was an 1989 All-American
and a two-year starter for head coach Joe Paterno
. He finished second on the Nittany Lions
’s all-time rushing list with 3,301 yards and 21 touchdowns
, just 97 yards shy of the Penn State record set by Curt Warner
. He was also the first player in school history to rush for more than 1,400 yards in two seasons (1987,1989). A 1989 Heisman Trophy
runner up behind University of Houston quarterback Andre Ware
. Thomas was the Most Valuable Player
of the 1989 Holiday Bowl
, setting a record with 35 carries for 186 yards. He was also the Most Valuable Player
of the Senior Bowl
Thomas wore the number 32 which was also worn by Ki-Jana Carter who also had a great college career at Penn State but an injury-filled NFL career.
He earned his Bachelor of Science in recreation and parks management at Penn State University in 1989.
Thomas was an all-state football player at Frankford High School
in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
. In three seasons at Frankford, he rushed for 3,941 yards and tied a Public League career record with 59 touchdowns
Thomas resides in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania with his wife Lisa. He has three children.
Thomas and former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Kenny Jackson are partners in chain of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-area sports bars called KoKoMos.