Fresno State's Thomas Becomes MW's 12th Consensus All-American
Dec. 11, 2012
The 2012 MW Defensive Player of the Year, Thomas finished the regular season as the national leader in interceptions with eight, which was the most by a Bulldog in 27 years and set a new Mountain West single-season record. He returned three interceptions for touchdowns and his nine total take-aways (eight picks, one fumble recovery) are both tied for the FBS lead. Thomas' three pick-sixes have set a new school record, tied the Mountain West single-season record and is one off the NCAA record. Additionally, his four forced fumbles are tied for the seventh-most in the nation. Thomas, a finalist for the 2012 Jim Thorpe Award, led the Bulldogs this year with 82 tackles and his 12.0 tackles for a loss were the second-most in the MW.
With previous first-team All-America selections from the AFCA, Sporting News and the Walter Camp Football Foundation, coupled with Tuesday's AP selection, Thomas has now been named to four of the five organizations used in determining unanimous All-America status. He has already become the second consensus All-American in school history, joining quarterback Jackie Fellows (1942). This is the 12th time a Mountain West player has become a consensus All-American, including each of the last seven seasons (2006-12).
The one All-America team yet to be released is from Football Writers Association of America. Its announcement will come Friday at 7 a.m. PT on SiriusXM's College Sports Nation (Ch. 91). If Thomas is named to the FWAA first-team, he will become the first unanimous All-American in school history and the third in MW history, joining the likes of TCU defensive end Jerry Hughes (2009) and New Mexico linebacker Brian Urlacher (1999).
Thomas was joined on the AP list by Nevada junior running back Stefphon Jefferson, who was included on the third team. The product of Visalia, Calif., ranks second on the NCAA's rushing chart this year with 141.9 yards per game. He has compiled 1,703 yards on the ground this season and needs just nine yards to establish a new Conference record for most rushing yards in a single-season. Jefferson, who ranks second in MW history with 341 rushing attempts and 22 rushing touchdowns in 2012, was the first nationally to reach the 1000-yard mark, accomplishing the feat in Week 7 to become the Wolf Pack's fastest back to reach the 1,000-yard mark and surpassing the previous school record of eight games, set by Vai Taua in 2010.
Thomas was also named a first-team All-American by SI.com on Tuesday. Jefferson received honorable mention and was joined by Colorado State's Pete Kontodiakos, Fresno State's Derek Carr and Davante Adams and Hawai`i's Alex Dunnachie and Mike Edwards. The Mountain West has been represented on the SI.com All-American Team in each of the previous 12 seasons (2001-12), including multiple selections in each of the nine years (2004-12).