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Ex-Texas Tech LB Zach Thomas Named Semifinalist For 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductees

Former Texas Tech linebacker Zach Thomas has been named a Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalist for a fifth time.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame released its list of semifinalists who will be eligible for induction in the 2023 cycle. Former Red Raiders linebacker Zach Thomas, who played 14 seasons in the NFL for the Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Kansas City Chiefs has been named to that shortlist. This is the fifth time that Thomas has been dubbed a semifinalist for induction into Hall of Fame, and 2023 may be the year he finally sees his name enshrined in Canton, Ohio. 

Thomas, one of the 28 modern-era semifinalists to make the HOF's watchlist, was a two-time All-American at Texas Tech. As a three-year starter for the Red Raiders, he recorded 390 career tackles and was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 1995. The Texas native is one of only five Red Raiders to be named a unanimous All-American (1995) and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2015.

In 1996, Thomas fell all the way to the fifth round of the NFL Draft, where he was selected by the Miami Dolphins. He would go on to start all 16 games in his rookie season on his way to being named AFC Defensive Rookie of The Year. The former Red Raider was a seven-time All-Pro in his career and accumulated 1,720 tackles, which would be third most amongst all Hall of Fame linebackers if inducted. 

The list of nearly 30 semifinalists will be trimmed to just 15 finalists in January. The official induction class, which can include up to five modern-day finalists, will be revealed ahead of Super Bowl LVII in February.

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