Aphonso Thomas, who rushed for 2,062 yards in his two years at UMHB, became the newest former Crusader to land on a professional roster, when his signing was announced on Wednesday.
Thomas, a native of Ben Wheeler, Texas, signed with Gallos Negros de Queretaro of the Liga de Futbol American Profesional (LFA), a team based out of Queretaro City in Mexico. The league, known as the LFA, was founded in 2016, and currently consists of 10 teams, all located in Mexico.
“I’m very thankful and I feel very blessed,” Thomas told True To The Cru. “I’m excited to get my pro career started. It has always been a dream of mine.
“And also I want to note that none of this would have been possible without UMHB. In the end, everything was all a blessing and I’m very thankful to have had the coaches and teammates I had there. I’m ready to start this pro journey.”
His first professional season begins in just 11 days, with the season opener taking place on March 11 against Mexicas LFA, a team based out in the city of Iztacalco.
Thomas played in 28 games for the Cru during the 2021 and 2022 seasons, leading the team in rushing yards during both years. He also tallied 24 rushing touchdowns in his career at UMHB, and averaged 5.4 yards per carry. He also caught 20 passes for 149 yards, with 16 of those receptions coming this past year.
His career featured five 100-plus yard rushing performances, including a 114-yard effort in UMHB’s 41-28 quarterfinal playoff win over Bethel (MN) this past fall. Thomas tallied two rushing touchdowns in the victory as well.
From True To The Cru’s research, Thomas is the first former UMHB football player to sign with a professional team in Mexico. He is also the second player from the 2022 team to have signed a pro contract, joining Kyle King, who signed with the Saarland Hurricanes of the German Professional League.