Life was never easy for Derrick Thomas. At the age of 5, his father, an Air Force pilot, was lost in Vietnam during a flying mission. As an adolescent growing up in a rough Miami neighborhood, Thomas ran afoul of the law and found himself in front of a judge who would give him a second chance.
He turned his life around, became a star on the gridiron and attracted the attention of the University of Alabama, where he established himself as arguably the greatest pass rusher in college football history. He went on to an outstanding career as a linebacker with the Kansas City Chiefs, and in 1993, he was named the NFL's Man of the Year for his charitable contributions to the community.
But at the age of 33, he was paralyzed in a car accident and died shortly thereafter, leaving behind a towering legacy that would put him in both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. He also had a son he never knew, Matt Naylor, who narrates this moving testament of discovery.
The SEC Storied film, "In Search of Derrick Thomas" was directed by Joe Lavine.