GROVETON, Tx - Hundreds gathered at the John Wayne Reynolds gymnasium on Friday to pay their respects to former Texas A&M running back Rodney Thomas.
One of the greatest running backs in school history, Thomas died Saturday in his hometown at the age of 41. During his Aggie career, Thomas was named to the All-Southwest Conference team twice while rushing for 3,014 yards and 41 touchdowns from 1991-94. He helped the Aggies to three straight conference titles and appearances in the Cotton Bowl. His 3,014 rushing yards rank No. 5 in school annals, while his 41 rushing touchdowns stand as the third-best in A&M history. He was named the Aggie Heart Award recipients as a senior and drafted in the third round of the 1995 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers.
Rodney was loved by man for his hard work on the field and his kind heart off the field. After the service Former Texas A&M head coach R.C. Slocum said, "Rodney was a great player but his character and who he was as a person far overshadowed his playing. He was one of the most remarkable young men I ever met and made a lasting impression on everyone he met. He made our teams better".
Thomas is survived by his wife, Leigh; a four-year old son, Ian Rodney Thomas; and a teenage stepson, Jalen David Brown, who is entering Texas A&M this fall to pursue an engineering degree.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Texas A&M Lettermen’s Association Building Fund to create a lasting tribute to Rodney Thomas.