Earnest Thomas III
Earnest Thomas III


Southfield, Mich.

High School:
St. Mary's

Height / Weight:
6-2 / 210




Seniors, Award Winners Honored at Annual Banquet

O'Toole Named Offensive MVP, Thomas III Defensive MVP; 17 Seniors Honored


Illini Dominate Northwestern to Become Bowl Eligible

The Fighting Illini defense forced five Northwestern turnovers.


Postgame Notes - Illinois vs. Minnesota, October 25 2014

Postgame Notes - Illinois vs. Minnesota, October 25 2014


Illini Pay Tribute to 20 Seniors

Teammates Write Tributes to 2012 Senior Class


Tim Beckman Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Selected Quotes from Tim Beckman's Weekly Press Conference


Illinois vs. Penn State - November 22, 2014

Illinois vs. Penn State - November 22, 2014


Illinois vs. Michigan State - Oct. 26, 2013

Illinois vs. Michigan State - Oct. 26, 2013


Illinois Football at Nebraska

Photos from Illinois' 39-19 loss at Nebraska on Oct. 5, 2013. (USA Today photo and Mark Jones/Illinois Athletics)


Illinois Football vs. Minnesota

Illinois football vs. Minnesota @ Memorial Stadium 9/10/12


2012 Orange and Blue Spring Game

Photos from the 2012 Orange and Blue Spring Game at Memorial Stadium - April 14, 2012 (photos by Mark Jones)

2013 Junior: Ranked seventh in the Big Ten and second on the team in tackles (8.4 per game) ... Tied for fifth in the Big Ten with three forced fumbles ... Started all 12 games of the year at strong safety ... Posted 101 tackles, 2.0 TFLs and led the team with seven PBUs and three forced fumbles ... Tied for fifth in school history with six career forced fumbles ... Had a career-high three PBUs and notched 10 tackles against Northwestern, his fifth double-digit tackle game of the year ... Had 10 tackles against Ohio State ... Led the team with nine tackles and forced his third fumble of the year at Indiana ... Had 10 tackles at Penn State ... Recorded a career-best 11 tackles against both Wisconsin and Nebraska ... Recorded 10 solo tackles and one TFL at Nebraska ... Forced his fifth career fumble and second of the year at Nebraska ... Had seven tackles, including a TFL, against Miami (Ohio) ... Forced a fumble on fourth down in a goal-line stand against Cincinnati ... Recorded eight tackles in each of the first two games.

2012 Sophomore: Played in all 12 games and made nine starts, totaling 69 tackles, 2.0 TFLs, one sack, one interception and a team-high three forced fumbles ... Posted eight tackles, including one for a loss at Northwestern ... Recorded eight tackles against Purdue ... Matched a career high with nine tackles and posted his first career TFL and sack against Minnesota ... Recorded seven tackles and forced a fumble at Ohio State ... Posted nine tackles against Indiana ... Recorded five tackles at Wisconsin ... Started against Penn State but was ejected in the second quarter following a personal foul ... Forced a fumble and recorded eight tackles at Arizona State ... Grabbed his first career interception and forced a fumble for the first time in his career to go along with six tackles in win over Western Michigan. 2011 Redshirt Freshman: Played in eight games, recording six tackles on the season ... Had one solo tackle against Indiana ... Made two tackles against South Dakota State ... Made Illini debut against Arkansas State, recording one tackle.

2010 Freshman: Redshirted the 2010 season.

High School: Recorded 100 tackles, seven tackles for loss, forced a fumble and had one interception as a senior ... A three-star recruit by ... PrepStar All-Midwest Region ... Ranked as the 46th-best safety nationally by ... Rated as the 13th-best prospect in the state of Michigan by ... A three-star recruit by ... Ranked No. 13 on The Detroit News Blue Chip list ... Had 480 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns on the offensive side as a senior ... Ranked the 54th-best safety in the nation by ... Helped lead his team to the Michigan Div. III championship game. Personal: Son of Sonya and Earnest Thomas Jr. ... Born on Dec. 19, 1991 ... Majoring in communication ... Had over a 3.0 GPA in high school ... Chose Illinois over Missouri, Louisville, Wisconsin, Stanford and Penn State among others.

Tackles: 11, twice (last vs. Wisconsin, 10/19/13)
Solos: 10 at Nebraska 10/5/13
TFLs: 1.0, 4x (last at Nebraska 10/5/13)
Sacks: 1.0 vs. Minnesota, 11/10/12
QB Hurries: -
Fumbles Forced: 1, 6x (last at Indiana, 11/9/13)
Fumbles Recovered: -
PBUs: 3 vs. Northwestern, 11/30/13
Interceptions: 1 vs. Western Michigan, 9/1/12
Interception Return Yards: -
Touchdown: -

Thomas's Statistics


Updated July 2014