Thurman Lee Thomas is a retired professional football player who played as a running back with the Buffalo Bills. He was born on May 16, 1966 in Houston Texas. He started playing football at a young age. He was part of his high school football team at Missouri City Junior High School and Willowridge High School, where he led his school team to win the Texas Class 4A State Title. After high school, he attended college at Oklahoma State University where he played football with future NFL player Barry Sanders. He had an impressive college career, which included 897 rushes for 4595 yards, 43 touchdowns and 5,146 total yards. He was a candidate for the Heisman Trophy and was also selected to the College Football All-America Team in 1985 and 1987. He was also voted the conference Offensive Player of the Year in both those years.
A knee injury at the start of his junior year made him miss a few games. The following year he carried the ball 898 times, which was the record for the most rushing attempts made in Oklahoma State history. His jersey number 34 was retired when Thomas graduated. In 2008, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. In the 1988 NFL Draft, he was picked in the second round by the Buffalo Bills. In 1990, 1991 and 1993, Thomas was the rushing leader of the American Football Conference. During the first three seasons of his professional career, Thomas scored at least a hundred yards rushing in 12 games, all of which were won by the Buffalo Bills. In 1990 and 1991, he was voted to the All-Pro team. He was also selected to the Pro Bowls every year from 1989 to 1993. In 1991, he was chosen as the National Football League’s Most Valuable Player, which was also the year he became the 11th player in the history of the National Football League to achieve 2,000 yards.
Thurman Thomas holds the rushing record for Buffalo Bills as well as the record for total yards from scrimmage. He is also the only player in NFL history to be the highest scorer of total yards from scrimmage for four straight seasons. He is one of six running backs to have more than 400 receptions and 10,000 yards rushing. In the Super Bowl XXV, he was a contender for the Most Valuable Player, but he did not win because the Bills lost. In the Super Bowl XXVI, he had an incident which caused him to miss the first two offensive plays for his team. This was because his helmet, which he usually placed at the 34-yard line before the game started, was moved in order to make room for the national anthem to be sung.
In the Super Bowl XXVII, Thomas scored the first points of the game for his team with a 2 yard touchdown. However, because he was in recovery from a hip injury that he had suffered during the first game of the postseason, his teammate Kenneth Davis got most of the carries. During the next Super Bowl, the Bills lost to the Dallas Cowboys again, with Thomas giving a very lukewarm performance. He was the only player to score a touchdown for his team, but also gave up many valuable points to the Cowboys. In 2007, Thurman Thomas was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. After his retirement, he moved to Orlando, Florida and then back to Buffalo, where he currently lives.