Oklahoma State Athletics will launch a new tradition when West Virginia visits Stillwater on Sept. 26.
Hall-of Famer Thurman Thomas will become the first inductee into the Oklahoma State football Ring of Honor, it was announced Tuesday. Thomas’ name and number will be unveiled atop the west end zone of Boone Pickens Stadium at halftime of the game against the Mountaineers.
To further honor one of the most popular OSU athletes of all time, the Cowboys will wear white uniforms against West Virginia. The uniform is a replica of what Oklahoma State wore in the 1987 Sun Bowl against West Virginia, in Thomas’ last game as a Cowboy. The Cowboys won that game, 35-33, and Thomas was the game’s most valuable player.
Thomas is no stranger to significant accolades. He was a 2007 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a 2008 inductee in the National College Football Hall of Fame. The Buffalo Bills put Thomas on their wall of fame in 2005 and retired his No. 34 jersey in 2018.
A three-time All-American and the all-time leading rusher in Oklahoma State football history, Thomas ran for 5,001 yards and scored 50 touchdowns over his four-year career in Stillwater. He was Oklahoma State’s leading rusher in each of his four seasons and was the Big Eight leader in both 1985 and 1987. He was voted the Big Eight Conference’s offensive player of the year after both seasons.
In 1985, he rushed for 1,650 yards, good for fourth in America. The Associated Press (third team) and UPI (first team) both honored him as an All-American and the NCAA lists him as a consensus All-American in its record book for his work that season.
His 1986 campaign was highlighted by 741 rushing yards and third-team All-America recognition from Football News.
In 1987, his 1,767 yards were the third-most nationally. For his work that season, he was a first-team All-America honoree by the Associated Press and a second-team All-American by UPI.
A knee injury prevented Thomas from being a first-round draft choice, but Buffalo stole him in the second round in 1988. He was that team’s most effective weapon in four straight Super Bowl seasons, and he was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player after the 1991 season. During his decorated career with the Bills, Thomas was a five-time Pro Bowler.