Hamlet native Doug Thomas, former NFL wideout, dies

Staff report

CHARLOTTE — A former Richmond Raider standout and NFL wide receiver has passed.

Douglas Sandy Thomas, 45, died Friday night due to an apparent heart attack, according to multiple media outlets. Thomas was most recently a high school football coach in the Charlotte area.

Photo courtesy ClemonsTigers.com Douglas Thomas

Photo courtesy ClemonsTigers.com
Douglas Thomas

Before hanging up his own pads, though, Thomas was a two-sport standout at both Richmond Senior High School in Rockingham — a four-year period during which he dominated on the oval track more than the gridiron — and at Clemson (S.C.) University.

Thomas played for the Tigers from 1987 to 1990 and, until this year, was a member of the winningest senior class in Clemson University history with 40 wins over four years, including two ACC Championship teams. This year’s Tigers beat South Carolina to post the team’s 41st victory. Still, Thomas remains in the team’s record books.

“He is still the only player in Clemson history to score twice on plays of at least 98 yards in the same season,” according to a report by WYFF4.com. ” He joins C.J. Spiller and Justin Miller as the only players in Clemson history with at least two kickoff returns for touchdowns in a career.”

As in high school, Thomas excelled on the track in college. He was a member of six ACC Championship men’s indoor and outdoor track teams and won three individual conference titles — the 1990 indoor champion at 55 meters and as a member of the Tigers’ 400-meter relay teams in 1990 and 1991.

Thomas was a second-round NFL draft pick by the Seattle Seahawks in 1991. He averaged 13 games a season for three seasons, including appearances in all 16 games in 1993 — which also was his best year statistically, as he recorded 11 receptions for 95 yards.

 

 

Filed in: Hamlet, Latest Headlines, News, Sports

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