Phillip Thomas first unanimous All-America selection in Fresno State history
The final All-America team was announced Friday morning, as Phillip Thomas was named to the 2012 Football Writers Association of America All-America team on an exclusive live announcement on SiriusXM's College Sports Nation.
"It means a lot. I've very appreciative of all the accolades and notoriety I'm getting right now," Thomas said. "I just appreciate my teammates because they do it for me as well as I do it for them and they deserve the credit. None of the accolades I got - All-America team or anything - has been me by myself.
"It's just a good thing for Fresno State football to be able to have something like this happen to get people around the nation to notice Fresno State football."
Thomas was previously selected to the AFCA, Sporting News, Walter Camp Football Foundation and Associated Press All-America teams that represent the four other official organizations. He now joins TCU defensive end Jerry Hughes (2009) and New Mexico linebacker Brian Urlacher (1999) as the only players in Mountain West history to garner unanimous All-America status.
"Obviously it is a great indication of the kind of year he had," head coach Tim DeRuyter said of Thomas being one of 12 bowl subdivision players to achieve unanimous All-America status this season. "He worked extremely hard to come back after his injury a year ago. He really took well to the coaching and Tim McDonald did a great job with him.
"He put in the work and he absolutely produced. He was a guy that sparked our defense with eight interceptions and three scores, so all these accolades he is getting are very well deserved and for him to be the first unanimous All-American in Fresno State history, I think they picked a great one to do that."
Just like on the four other official All-America teams, Thomas was the only offensive or defensive player from a non-BCS school to be named to the FWAA All-America team.
For nearly seven decades (since 1944) the FWAA has selected an All-America team with the help of its members and an All-America Committee, which represents all the regions in the country.
The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,200 men and women who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards and its annual All-America team.