2016 NFL Draft
  Robert Thomas
Robert Thomas

Player Profile

Imperial, CA

High School:

Height / Weight:
6-2 / 237

Middle Linebacker


UCLA — This senior has demonstrated that he is one of the best, if not the best, linebacker in the nation … A semi-finalist for the 2000 Dick Butkus Award, presented to the nation’s top linebacker, he possesses all of the tools one looks for in a great player … His attributes include explosiveness, great speed and quickness … Thomas possesses the ability to fill the hole to stop the run, roam from sideline to sideline and cover receivers … His experience and leadership will be a great asset to the defensive unit … The 2001 season will be his third as a starter and another outstanding year will put him into UCLA’s Top 20 for career tackles.

2000 — Compared to a cobra by head coach Bob Toledo because of his explosiveness at the point of attack, Thomas was one of 11 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, which honors the nation’s top linebacker … He was named UCLA’s Defensive Most Valuable Player and was selected second team All-Pacific-10 by the league’s coaches … On the year, Thomas led the team with 88 tackles, 10 more than No. 2 Ryan Nece, despite being hampered by a stress reaction in his left foot … He was tied for second on the squad with nine tackles for loss and led the Bruins and the Pac-10 with six fumbles forced … His regular-season average of 7.3 tackles per game ranked 11th in the Pac-10 … The middle linebacker started all 12 games and played at least 50 snaps in each of the final 10 regular-season games (49 in the Sun Bowl), including 83 at Oregon, 72 versus Oregon State, 71 against Michigan and 68 at California … He accounted for four tackles in the victory over Alabama, including one for loss, and also forced two fumbles … Against Fresno State, Thomas led the defense, which held the Bulldogs to 26 yards on the ground, with six stops … In the victory over Michigan, he was credited with seven tackles, one shy of the team lead, including two behind the line of scrimmage … At Oregon, he made seven tackles, including two for losses, and forced a fumble at the goal line … In the victory over Arizona State, he again made seven tackles, including one for loss … At California, he led the Bruins with a season-high 11 tackles, including one for loss and also forced one fumble … Against Oregon State, he was credited with six tackles and forced his fifth fumble of the year … In the victory at Arizona, he was credited with a team-best 10 tackles (nine solos), including one for loss, filling the gaps extremely well … In the win over Stanford, he again led the squad with nine tackles, all solos, and forced his sixth fumble of the year … At Washington, despite missing much of the second half after aggravating his injured foot, he still made eight tackles … In the regular season finale against USC, he made five stops … In the Sun Bowl against Wisconsin, he was credited with eight tackles, second on the squad, including one for loss.

1999 — The middle linebacker made his first career start versus Fresno State and registered a team-high 14 tackles, the most by a Bruin since Brian Willmer made 15 stops versus Arizona on Nov. 16, 1996 … On the year, he ranked second on the team with 68 tackles despite missing three games … His average of 8.5 stops per game was the highest on the team … Played at least 50 defensive snaps in six games, including 68 versus USC and 57 at Arizona State … Thomas made nine tackles, including one for loss, at Stanford … Tied for the team lead with nine stops at Arizona State, accounting for 1.5 sacks and three stops behind the line … Credited with 10 tackles vs. California … Suffered a concussion in the first half at Oregon State (Oct. 23) and sat out the following game versus Arizona … Returned to the lineup versus Washington and led the team with 11 tackles and also forced a fumble.

1998 — In his first year in the program, Thomas gained valuable experience as a reserve inside linebacker … On the year, he made 26 tackles (two for losses), including five at Miami and three stops each against Stanford, Houston and Texas … Appeared in all 12 games (11 on defense) and played at least 15 snaps six times, including 30 in the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin, 26 at Miami, 24 at Houston and 19 at California … He was also a special teams regular (kickoff return, punt return and kickoff coverage) … Thomas was at his best in the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin, making eight tackles, including one for loss … At Houston, he returned a blocked punt 15 yards to set up UCLA’s second touchdown of the game … He made a key stop on the goal line against California to help preserve UCLA’s lead.

HIGH SCHOOL — Robert was rated the nation’s No. 1 linebacker prospect by most scouting services as a senior in 1997 … During his three-year career at Imperial HS for coaches Mike Swearingen and Kerry Legarra, he made 600 tackles (213 solos and 387 assists) … He also accounted for 32 sacks, seven interceptions, 16 caused fumbles, six fumble recoveries, four blocked punts, four blocked kicks and 21 pass breakups … A USA Today first-team All- American … Parade All-American and the magazine's No. 1 LB … National Recruiting Advisor Franchise Player and All-America (No. 1 weakside LB and No. 3 on the National 100) … Member of PrepStar Dream Team (No. 1 LB) … PrepStar Western Region Defensive MVP … PrepStar Western Region Super 30 … PrepStar All-America (No. 1 LB in West) … ESPN SportsZone first-team All-America … Student Sports Senior All-America … ESPN SportsZone No. 3 prospect … ESPN SportsZone No. 1 LB … The Sporting News Top 100 (No. 4 prospect and No. 1 LB) … Cornwell’s National Top 100 (No. 3 prospect and No. 1 LB) … SuperPrep National 50 (No. 12) … SuperPrep All-America (No. 2 LB) … SuperPrep All-Far West (No. 2 prospect) … Bill Buchalter’s Top 100 (No. 7 prospect ) … CBS SportsLine Top 100 … Member of Tacoma News-Tribune Western 100 … Member of Long Beach Press-Telegram’s Best in the West (nine votes) … Student Sports All-State first team and Small Schools Defensive Player of the Year … Twice selected to Union-Tribune’s All-San Diego County team … National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Scholar-Leader-Athlete … National Collegiate Athletic Association “National Student-Athlete” award … As a senior, he had 93 solo tackles, 121 assists and 10 quarterback sacks … Caused four fumbles, recovered two and made three interceptions … Led his team to an 11-1 record in 1997 … Twice All-Imperial Valley and Defensive Player of the Year … Selected to play in the Shrine All-Star game … Member of PrepStar pre-season Dream Team … PrepStar pre-season Best in the West … National Recruiting Advisor pre-season All-American (No. 1 Weak-Side LB) … SuperPrep pre-season Top 50 … SuperPrep pre-season All-American (No. 5 LB) … Team won League championship and the Coastal-East League title … Three-year starter … As a junior team captain, he made 85 solo tackles and 134 assists, including 14 quarterback sacks … Caused seven fumbles, made two fumble recoveries, blocked two kicks and made four interceptions … Named Imperial Valley Defensive Player of the Year and was first-team All-CIF and first-team All-County … San Diego Union-Tribune’s All-Academic team … Named Imperial Valley Press’ Most Valuable Defensive Player of the Year … Team reached the semifinals of the CIF playoffs … As a sophomore, he made 35 tackles and 132 assists with five sacks, six pass break-ups, five caused fumbles and two fumble recoveries … Team reached the quarterfinals of the CIF playoffs … Named first-team All-CIF San Diego section … First-team All-Valley League … First-team All-Desert League … Also earned three letters in baseball as a centerfielder and pitcher for coach Nick Alcorta … Team reached the CIF semifinals in both 1996 and 1997 … Named first-team All-CIF in 1997 and second-team in 1996, while winning League titles both seasons… Had a career batting average of over .400 with 15 home runs … Attended Clements High School in Sugar Land, TX for the Fall term in his freshman year.

PERSONAL — Full Name: Robert W. Thomas … Born: July 17, 1980 in El Centro, CA … Parents: Stan and Elizabeth Thomas … Has three brothers — Todd, Stan and Clifford — and one sister, Candalyn … Father played professional baseball for the Pirates (’64-69) and the Angels (’63-64) … Brother, Stan, played at the University of Texas and was a first-round draft choice of the Chicago Bears in 1991 … Robert’s biggest thrill to date in athletics was being named the number one prep linebacker in the nation … Admires former NFL All-Pro Reggie White and patterns his style of play after Junior Seau of the Chargers … Relatives Jonnie Shanks and Robert Linton, Jr. have attended UCLA … Career objective is to play in the NFL after earning his degree … History major.

Varsity Statistics - R. Thomas































Career Highs
Tackles: 14 vs. Fresno State, 1999; 11 vs. California, 2000; 11 vs. Washington, 1999; 10 vs. Arizona, 2000; 10 vs. California, 1999