Tribute to Vanderbilt's Johnell Thomas

Sixteen Vanderbilt players make up the first senior class to ever play in two consecutive bowl games during their Commodore careers. Leading up to the Music City Bowl, will look back on each senior's career. In this segment Johnell Thomas is featured.


98 Johnell Thomas

Hometown: Tallahassee, Fla.

High school: Godby

Position: DE

HT: 6-0 WT: 250

Chose Vanderbilt over: Bethune-Cookman, Eastern Kentucky, Florida A&M, Florida International and Grambling.


Johnell Thomas is another diamond in the rough that was found by the Bobby Johnson's staff. It was a good decision to offer Thomas a scholarship and Vandy was one of the only FBS schools do that. Thomas, who will be a part of three VU bowls teams with the upcoming Music City Bowl, has given Vanderbilt his all and more than earned his take. Just ask the Tennessee Vols who Thomas terrorized with multiple tackles and a rare interception by a defensive lineman.


November 17, 2012 versus Tennessee. Vanderbilt trails Tennessee 7-3 early in the second quarter and it looks like the Vols might yet again sneak away with another victory in long series. Vol quarterbackTyler Bray drops back to throw but his pass is tipped by defensive tackle Rob Lohr. Fellow lineman Johnell Thomas alertly catches the ball which comes straight down towards him. Vandy would capitalize off the turnover with a field goal and then go on to win handily, 41-18.


"I believe that our defense is based on us having interchangeable parts. If I need a break, we've worked together long enough to trust that the person behind me is just as good, and we're all working together toward the one common goal." Thomas in 2012 to Commodore Nation.


2008 Team Defensive Scout of the Week; 2010 Team Defensive Player of the Week


Games played in: 43
Tackles: 86
Tackles for loss: 11
Tackles for loss yards: 35
Sacks: 4
Sacks yards: 23
Interceptions: 1
Passes broken up: 2



Johnell Thomas and family on Senior Day. (VM-Stan Jones) Top Stories