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Urlacher on Red Raiders Alumnus: ‘How the F— is Zach Thomas not in Hall of Fame?’

Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher believes that his former rival Zach Thomas also deserves enshrinement.

Former Texas Tech linebacker Zach Thomas was among the most feared players at his position during both his collegiate and NFL careers.

Spanning 13 seasons (12 with the Miami Dolphins, one with the Dallas Cowboys), the native of Pampa, Texas put together an impressive career. Thomas was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, a seven-time All-Pro selection - five of which were to the first team - and was selected to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team.

As such, he is considered to be among the league’s most-likely alumni to earn enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

In fact, one prominent member of the Hall believes that Thomas should have been inducted already. Former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher was elected in 2018, appeared on The Pat McAfee Show last Wednesday, and expressed his displeasure at Thomas having yet to gain his spot in the Hall of Fame.

“How the f— is Zach Thomas not in the Hall of Fame,” Urlacher said (edited for profanity). “Put his stats up with mine, Ray (Lewis), any other linebacker who’s either close to the Hall of Fame or been in the Hall of Fame. He’s right there with us if not better.”

“Every year I advocate for him to get in, but they don’t put him in and I don’t understand it.”

Thomas was a Hall of Fame finalist for the first time in 2022 in what was his ninth year of eligibility. Statistically, he has a strong case for enshrinement, having compiled 1,734 total tackles, 20.5 sacks, 17 interceptions, and 16 forced fumbles during his career. While his numbers may fall short of Lewis’ career prowess, they do compare favorably with that of Urlacher, who finished his 13-year career with 1,361 total tackles, 41.5 sacks, 22 interceptions, and 11 forced fumbles.

During his tenure at Texas Tech, Thomas was a three-year starter at linebacker. He earned first-team All-American honors as a junior in 1994, and As a junior in 1994, and was selected as a unanimous first-team All-American as a senior in 1995. He also won Southwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year and was a finalist for the Butkus Award during his final year as a Red Raider.

Thomas holds the distinction of being one of five Texas Tech Red Raiders to be named a Unanimous All-American; along with Mark Bounds, Byron Hanspard, Michael Crabtree, and Jace Amaro. Throughout his college career, he compiled 390 tackles, including a career-high 131 tackles and a school-record 20 tackles against Missouri in his senior season. Thomas was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2015.

You can follow Mike D'Abate on Twitter at @MDabateNFL

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