Mercilus Earns MVP Honors
Nine Illini Players Earn All-Conference Accolades
Eleven Named Midseason All-Big Ten by Phil Steele
Illinois looking to improve to 7-0 on the season
THOMAS AWARDS & HONORS
2011 - Senior: Honorable mention All-Big Ten selection by the coaches ... Started all 13 games ... Second on the team with 85 tackles and had 10.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks ... Named team's Outstanding Linebacker at annual postseason banquet ... Notched seven tackles, two TFLs, one sack and a PBU in win over UCLA in Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl ... Posted nine tackles and 1.5 TFLs against Michigan ... Had seven tackles, a half-TFL, one fumble recovery, one PBU and a half-sack at Penn State ... Posted nine tackle and one sack at Purdue ... Had five tackles and a half-TFL vs. Ohio State ... Had 10 tackles against Northwestern ... Had seven tackles, including a career-high 2.5 TFLs, and one hurry vs. Western Michigan .. Posted six tackles, a half-TFL, a fumble recovery and a hurry vs. Arizona State ... Had five tackles and a sack against South Dakota State ... Had four tackles, a half-TFL and one QB hurry against Arkansas State.
2010 - Junior: Started all 13 games ... Fourth on the team with 67 tackles in 2010, including 6.5 TFLs, 1.0 sacks, one interception, two PBU and two fumble recoveries ... Posted four tackles and 1.5 TFLs at Fresno State ... Recorded five tackles, one TFL and returned his first career interception 15 yards in win over Northwestern ... Tallied seven tackles against Minnesota ... Posted seven tackles, a PBU and recovered a fumble in win over Indiana ... Posted seven tackles against Ohio State ... Tallied seven tackles, including four solos, and matched his career best with 1.5 TFLs in win over Northern Illinois ... Recorded four tackles, one TFL, one QB sack, one PBU and first career fumble recovery in win over Southern Illinois ... Matched his career best with a team-high 13 tackles, including 1.5 TFLs against Missouri.
2009 - Sophomore: Started all 12 games, recording a team-high 95 tackles, 4.0 TFLs, 1.0 sack, four PBUs, one QB hurry and one fumble recovery on the season ... Ranked 10th in the Big Ten and 83rd nationally in tackles (7.9 tpg) ... Posted 10 tackles in the season finale vs. Fresno State ... Had six tackles, including one TFL, at No. 5 Cincinnati ... Was the top tackler against Northwestern with 12 stops ... Led team with 10 stops in win over Minnesota ... Posted nine tackles, including one TFL, broke up a pass, had one hurry and one fumble recovery in win over Michigan ... Led team with 10 tackles, including a career-best eight solo stops against Purdue ... Registered five tackles at Indiana ... Posted four tackles, one sack and two PBUs against Illinois State ... Started his first collegiate game in the season opener against Missouri, leading the team in tackles with 13 and logging his first TFL.
2008 - RS Freshman: Played in nine games, recording four tackles on the season ... Recorded the first tackle of his career at Penn State.
2007 - Freshman: Redshirted the 2007 season.
High School: Ranked as the 19th-best weakside linebacker in the nation by Scout.com ... Named a top-20 recruit in the Mid-Atlantic region by SuperPrep ... Helped lead DeMatha to four straight state titles, including a perfect 12-0 season in 2006 ... Team won WCAC Conference Championship in 2004, 2005 and 2006 ... Posted 126 tackles and six sacks in 2006 ... Had six sacks and two interceptions while leading a defense that allowed just 6.5 points per game ... Earned honors as the Defensive Player of the state of Maryland as a senior ... Garnered All-Met honors by The Washington Post ... Was named the Most Valuable Player at DeMatha ... Bench presses 385 pounds ... Named to the George Michaels' Golden Eleven team ... As a junior, compiled 101 tackles and five sacks ... Was a boxer from ages 8 to 14 and ranked third in the country in the National Silver Gloves rankings for two years straight.
Personal: Full name is Ian Matthew Thomas ... Born June 20, 1989 ... Son of Kim and Ginger Thomas ... High school coach was Bill McGregor ... Majoring in communication ... Chose Illinois over Maryland and Connecticut.
Tackles: 13, twice (last vs. Missouri, 9/4/10)
Solos: 8, twice (last vs. Michigan, 10/31/09)
TFL: 2.5 vs. Western Michigan, 9/14/11
QB Sacks: 1, five times (last vs. UCLA, 12/31/11)
QB Hurry: 1, four times (last vs. Western Michigan, 9/24/11)
Fumble Recovered: 1, four times (last vs. Penn State, 10/29/11)
PBU: 2 vs. Illinois State, 9/12/09
INT: 1 vs. Northwestern, 11/20/10
INT Return Yards: 15 vs. Northwestern, 11/20/10