Category: In The News Published on Monday, 26 March 2012 15:39 Written by Super User Hits: 744
Giants’ Tuck and Patriots’ Thomas Linked by More Than Blood
Conference USA Rival UCF
November 7, 2011
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Before the Nov. 12 showdown with Conference USA rival UCF, Southern Miss will honor one of its school's greatest defensive players, Adalius Thomas, by inducting him into the Legends Club. Thomas is one of four former Golden Eagle players, including Bucky McElroy (1951-53), Bubba Phillips (1947-50) and Hugh Laurin Pepper (1952-53), to be inducted this season along with two teams the 1958 and 1962 small college national championship squads.
Thomas was a four-year letterman at defensive end for the Golden Eagles from 1996 to 1999.
In 1996, Thomas had 39 tackles that included five tackles for losses and four quarterback sacks. Also, he broke up a pass and recovered a fumble while leading the Golden Eagles to the inaugural Conference USA championship.
In 1997, he recorded 65 tackles with 15 tackles for losses and nine quarterback sacks, had an interception, broke up 10 passes and recovered two fumbles and blocked a kick while leading the Eagles to another conference championship.
In 1998, Thomas recorded 71 tackles with 20 tackles for losses and 12.5 quarterback sacks to go along with five pass break ups and two blocked kicks.
For his senior season in 1999, Thomas helped lead the Golden Eagle to its third Conference USA championship during his tenure there by collecting 67 tackles, of which were 16 tackles for loss, nine quarterback sacks, recovered two fumbles, forced a fumble and blocked four kicks. He had a career 242 tackles including 56 tackles for losses of 347 yards and a school record 34.5 quarterback sacks. During his career, he was named to three Conference USA All-Conference teams and was Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 1998 and 1999.
He earned All-American honors after both his junior and senior campaigns garnering first team honors by College Football News (1999) and the American Football Coaches Association (1998) as well as garnering second-team honors by the Associated Press, CBS Sportsline, and Sporting News, all coming in 1999.
He was taken in the 1999 National Football League draft in the sixth round by the Baltimore Ravens and played there from 2000 to 2006 and then with the New England Patriots from 2007 to 2009. He had 517 tackles in the professional career, with 53 quarterback sacks, 45 pass deflections, 7 interceptions and 15 forced fumbles. Twice he was named to the Pro Bowl and twice he was named to the All-Pro team and was part of a Super Bowl squad with the Patriots as he had two sacks in Super Bowl XLII against the New York Giants.
Thomas has been described as one of the most dominating defensive player in Southern Miss history, whether it was at defensive end or playing special teams or even catching a pass as a tight end. This is the second award for Thomas this fall as he was inducted into the school's M-Club Hall of Fame prior to the Southeastern Louisiana game.
The Legends Club also features former football players Reggie Collier (1979-82), Fred Cook (1971-73), Hanford Dixon (1977-80), Brett Favre (1987-90), Ray Guy (1970-72), Derrick Nix (1998-2000, 2002) and Sammy Winder (1978-81). The Legends Club recognizes former university athletic standouts that made prominent contributions in their individual sports, while participating as student-athletes. The idea of the Legends Club was inspired by former Golden Eagle great, Sammy Winder.
The players' athletic feats are enough to deserve the highest honor in the world of sports - having their respective jerseys retired. But with the Legends Club, Southern Miss' standouts do not have their jerseys retired. Instead, the players are honored by being recognized with membership in this prestigious club. The members of those two teams will be displayed prominently in the Athletic Center.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS’ ADALIUS THOMAS &
GOOD SPORTS HOST NERF® FOOTBALL GAME
Adalius Thomas, in partnership with Good Sports, will participate in a NERF® football game with local youth.
WHEN: Monday, May 4th 2009
WHERE: Upham School, Field Number 2 19 Dukes Road, Wellesley, MA 02481 (Proceed to parking lot at end of Dukes Road; path to field is on left, walk up the hill)
- Good Sports, a Boston-based non-profit organization, aims to increase youth participation in sports by donating equipment to community organizations serving disadvantaged youth.
- In an effort to raise money for Good Sports, Adalius Thomas auctioned off a NERF® football game at their annual Legends of the Ball event last year.
- Money raised at the auction enables Good Sports to provide necessary sports equipment, footwear, and apparel to those who need it most.
- Since his arrival to the Patriots, Thomas has been an active youth sports and education supporter. In September of 2008, Thomas visited the Holland Community Center in Dorchester and gave out 200 backpacks full of school supplies. He has generously donated his time to help serve hundreds of kids in need.
- Boston’s own Sausage Guy has also donated his catering services for the event. The Sausage Guy has been a long time supporter of Good Sports: catering many events over the past four years to help their cause.
CONTACT: Christy Pugh Keswick
617-282-6125 x130 (work)
KELLYTON, Ala. — Six years, six miles of two-lane country roads and an indeterminable amount of blood are all that separate Justin Tuck and Adalius Thomas. Super Bowl XLII will link them like never before.
“Coosa County won’t lose,” said Eva Thomas, the gregarious mother of Adalius, a linebacker for the New England Patriots. “But one of their families will.”
Across the living room, Jimmy Tuck nodded and smiled politely, as is his way.
“That’s right,” he said. His son, Justin, is a defensive end for the Giants.
Actually, Justin Tuck, 24, and Adalius Thomas, 30, are part of the same family, cousins to some degree, although no one can quite say exactly how they are related.
On Wednesday afternoon, Jimmy Tuck and Eva Thomas sat in the house along Highway 9 where Adalius Thomas grew up. In the next room were the various totems of football success: trophies, framed jerseys and countless photographs. The Tucks, in their house down the road, have a similar shrine to their son.
They bandied family surnames, mentioning various grandparents and great-grandparents. It was as if they had never had this conversation. The relation, they thought, has to do with their grandmothers. It is hard to tell here because people have lived among the rolling hills for so long that their family trees are entwined like ivy.
“Most of us are double kin,” Eva Thomas said. “After you get past the third cousin, we just stop counting.”
The fact that Justin Tuck and Adalius Thomas are cousins seems to matter only to outsiders. What people in Coosa County ponder is the probability that two boys from one small high school (about 100 in each graduating class), in a rural county of few stoplights (11,000 people across 652 square miles), could play in the same Super Bowl.
“I’m not sure that’s ever been done before,” Joe Belyeu, Central Coosa High’s athletic director, said Wednesday by the school’s trophy case. He is Jimmy Tuck’s first cousin. Their mothers were sisters.
Two framed football jerseys, a shade of Giants blue, hung above the trophy case: Thomas’s No. 2 and Tuck’s No. 80, both retired. Thomas and Tuck played tight end and linebacker for teams that were rarely better than mediocre. If anything, Central Coosa, in Rockford, is a basketball school. Belyeu has coached the Cougars to four state basketball championships, including one with Thomas and two with Tuck, each playing center.
A girl walked through the door wearing a No. 91 white road jersey of the Giants. It was Brittany Tuck, the youngest of Jimmy and Elaine Tuck’s seven children. She turns 18 Tuesday.
A moment later, as if scripted, another girl entered, wearing a dark No. 96 Patriots jersey and walking on crutches from recent knee surgery. It was Ashia Thomas, 17, the youngest of Adonis and Eva Thomas’s five children.
Justin Tuck’s little sister and Adalius Thomas’s little sister, classmates and football cheerleaders, stopped to chat.
“We played already once,” Brittany Tuck said, referring to the Patriots’ 38-35 victory against the Giants in the regular-season finale. “And we only lost by 3.”
The girls promised to root for the other’s brother, but not for the other team. Those with more divided loyalties at the school can buy a T-shirt, printed last week, with photographs of Tuck and Thomas.
This is all a little surreal to the Tuck and Thomas families. Adalius Thomas (whom his family calls Da-Da, pronounced day-day) went to Southern Mississippi and was a sixth-round draft choice of the Baltimore Ravens in 2000. He won a Super Bowl seven years ago, against the Giants, and signed a free-agent contract with New England last spring that could be worth $35 million over five years. He had six and a half sacks for the undefeated Patriots.
Tuck went to Notre Dame and was a third-round choice of the Giants in 2005. Playing end and tackle, he had 10 sacks in 2007. This month, he signed a contract extension that could earn him $30 million for five years.
Little of the fame and fortune has filtered into Coosa County, where the median household income is about $30,000. Adonis Thomas is a Baptist pastor and a school bus driver. Part of his route is along County Road 71, where he picks up Brittany Tuck and takes her to school.
Elaine Tuck, a childhood classmate of Adonis Thomas’s in nearby Goodwater, finished a 30-year career at Russell, an athletic equipment company, in November. Russell has been in the area nearly 100 years, first as a mill. It moved its headquarters to Atlanta in 1999. Jobs have bled away.
Jimmy Tuck spent nearly 24 years working in the warehouse of a local home builder, then six at Russell. For the last six years, he has worked for the Alabama Department of Transportation, helping track construction equipment, from cones to graders. He is 57 and wants to work five more years, “Lord willing.”
He also serves as a deacon at a small brick Baptist church, where Justin Tuck helped lead the Sunday school program before he went to college.
Justin Tuck called after signing his extension. He asked what he could buy for his family.
“I told him ‘nothing,’ ” Jimmy Tuck said. A former basketball player, he is tall and thin, but sturdy. “I told him that the best gift is to live life, show respect and represent Kellyton, Ala.”
Jimmy Tuck — Jimmy Lee, as he is often called — clocked out of work Wednesday morning and rode shotgun in a rental car. For six hours, he led a one-person tour through the area and the lives it has produced.
He pointed toward downtown Kellyton: a few small buildings scattered on a winding road, with no sidewalks. “This is where you pay your water bill,” Tuck said, pointing to one building.
“There’s the fire station, and that’s where we vote, right there,” he said. And all of Kellyton was in the rearview mirror.
A few miles away is the brick three-bedroom Tuck house.
“That’s where I stay,” he said, a phrase he used when pointing out the houses of others. Not live, but stay.
Justin Tuck’s favorite memories are of playing basketball in the driveway, playing football on an uneven field nearby and sitting at a card table on the porch playing dominoes with uncles.
“That was back before video games,” Elaine Tuck said. A grandson was watching “Dora the Explorer” on television.
Next door, a couple of football fields away, is where Jimmy Tuck was reared. His 80-year-old father, Justin’s grandfather, still lives there. His grandmother, who helped care for the children when Elaine was working, died in 2001, weeks after Tuck left for Notre Dame.
The entire stretch of road is lined by Tucks. One of Jimmy Tuck’s brothers lives next to their father. A sister lives across the street. Uncles and other relatives outnumber the non-Tucks. A car passes every few minutes.
Six miles away, down this lonely road, is the Thomas house. Adalius Thomas is often said to be from Equality, but his house is actually in Nixburg, Adonis Thomas said. Eva Thomas’s sister lives across the street, in their mother’s old house.
There are too many relatives in the area to count. About 20 of them will make their way to Glendale, Ariz., for Super Bowl XLII. Nine members of the Coosa County Tuck contingent will be there. Adalius Thomas called Justin Tuck — they talk every couple of weeks — last week, looking for more tickets.
As Eva Thomas and Jimmy Tuck sat in the living room, they talked about their children and the coincidence — or is it more than that? — that their lives are intersecting, again, like this.
Jimmy Tuck sat across the living room on the couch, his Nike hat in his hands. “It’ll just be a joy to see both of them compete and be friends, and hopefully no one will get hurt,” he said.
Eva Thomas said, “That’s right.”
Somebody will lose. But not here.
Adalius Thomas brings his Pro Grill Team to Harvard Square’s MayFair for a heated competition with Harvard Square’s Pro Grill Chefs in grill-off to benefit Mass Mentoring and Community Servings!
“Grilling with Pros!”
A benefit event at the 26th Annual MayFair in Harvard Square
Sunday, May 3rd 2009 from Noon until 6:00pm.
(Rain date – Sunday, May 17th 2009)
The 26th Annual MayFair is the host site of the first annual
Grilling with the Pros featuring New England Linebacker Adalius Thomas’ Pro Team in a heated competition with Harvard Square’s Pro Chefs to benefit Mass Mentoring and Community Servings.
Once inside the Grilling with the Pros enclosed Grid Iron, you are an intimate part of the intensely competitive cooking and eating action as each team Flips, Bastes, Smokes, and Batters it’s “hottest” grilled creations. On the Pro Football Grill Squad “Team Thomas,” Captain Adalius Thomas and his friend Ty Warren and other Surprise Guests stand firm with Celebrity “Meat Coaches”: Ron Savenor and Trey Goodwin from Boston’s Famous Smokehouse and the Savenor pro-meat team.
The Pro-Chef Home Team is led by Paul O’Connell (Veteran of the Taste of the NFL and Chez Henri Owner and Chef) and features Chef Steven Brand, Chef Susan Regis, and Chef/Owner Deborah Hughes from UpStairs on the Square; Chef Michael Scelfo from Temple Bar; Chef Peter Davis from Henrietta’s Table; Chef Dave Punch from Ten Tables and Krista Kranyak Owner of Ten Tables; and John Schall owner of Fire & Ice.
Celebrity Judges from both the World of Pro Sports and Pro Food Writing will weigh in on the results…thus far, Karen Holmes Ward from City Line, WCVB Channel 5, and Steve Burton,WBZ TV Channel 4 Sports Anchor. Local Judges from Cambridge’s Fire Department; Deputy Chief Paul Sheehan and Deputy Chief Gerry Mahoney.
Tickets: Will be sold in advance at the HSBA Office, please call 617-491-3434 with Credit Card in hand! Day of tickets will be sold on location at the “Grilling with the Pros” event site in the Church Street Parking Lot!
Adult Tickets: $30.00 – Kids under Twelve - $10.00. Ticket sales and merchandise proceeds benefit Mass Mentoring and Community Servings.
Admission into the enclosed area allows each insider:
A Plate to sample each team’s secret Bar-b-que recipes! Each team will give ticket holders a taste of Ribs, Sausage, Chicken and a few sides. Tickets holders will cast their ballots for their favorite team.
Players and Chefs will rotate opportunities for photos!
Footballs and t-shirts are also available for purchase and signing with additional funds going to beneficiary Mass Mentoring!
All food, merchandise and volunteer time has been donated…thank you Adalius and team, Chefs, City of Cambridge and Harvard Square Chefs.
First Half: 1:00 pm– 2:30 pm
Second Half: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Tickets are available for purchase for either the first or second half by calling the HSBA 617-491-3434! Tickets are limited, first come – first serve.
Everybody wins at this event! If the Chef’s win the Players give them VIP Game Tickets and if the Players win the Chefs give the Players VIP “Chef’s Table” dinners!!!
The 26th Annual MayFair in Harvard Square is also pleased to feature CHESTER FRENCH LIVE from the Super Crosswalk! A Border Café/ Corona Cinco-de-Mayo Beer Garden and a Sam Adams/Grafton Street Beer Garden, Chalk on the Walk, Hot Air Balloon Rides, Kids Activities, Four Stages of live entertainment including a DANCE stage and hundreds of happy vendors and festival goers!
MayFair is Sponsored by: Dunkin Donut’s, Sam Adams, Nantucket Nectars, Corona Beer, Re-Max Destiny, Jet Blue, Boston’s Weekly Dig, Yelp, Newbury Comics, WZLX, Renewal by Anderson, Owens Corning, Boston Event Specialists, Zipcar, Grafton Street, The Border Cafe, Café of India, Savenor’s The Irving House, Sonic Bids, Pilgrim Parking, and the Harvard Square Business Association.
MayFair is free and open to the public!
For More information about our complete schedule of events: www.harvardsquare.com for more info 617-491-3434.