A number of people have represented the Acadiana area in the National Football League.

All summer long, we’re going to spotlight the fantastic athletes from the area, people that were actually born in one of the Acadiana parishes, that went on to play football at the highest level, the NFL.

Yesterday, we profiled Loreauville native Lionel Vital.

Today, we spotlight Lafayette native Joe Thomas.

Born on March 25, 1963 in Lafayette, Thomas grew up in Franklin, and attended Franklin High School.

Following his high school years, Thomas went to college at Mississippi Valley St., where he finished 10th on the all-time NCAA list for receiving touchdowns, playing alongside future Hall of Famer Jerry Rice.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Thomas was selected by the Denver Broncos in the 9th round of the 1986 NFL Draft.

After a trade, which sent Thomas to the New Orleans Saints, he spent a year out of football, before playing in one game for the Saints in 1987, an October match-up against the Chicago Bears.

Though that would be Thomas' lone game in the NFL, he did something few could only dream of doing; appearing in an NFL game.

Today, Thomas is 54-years old.

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