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Former Oklahoma RB, NFL Rookie of the Year Has Passed Away

Two generic NFL footballs.

(Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

The sports world lost a former standout running back today as Mike Thomas has passed away at the age of 66. He's most known for his tenure with the Washington Redskins, where he won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Before making a name for himself with the Redskins, Thomas started his collegiate career at the University of Oklahoma. Thomas would later transfer to UNLV.

After shining at UNLV, Thomas was eventually selected by Washington in the fifth round of the 1975 NFL Draft. During his rookie season, the former Rebel had over 1,400 scrimmage yards and seven total touchdowns.

Due to all the pain he dealt with throughout his career, Thomas retired early. His time in the NFL only lasted six years.

In fact, Thomas feuded with teammates when he refused to take painkillers to cope with his injuries.

Although Thomas passed away on Friday in his home state of Texas, the news didn't break until Tuesday.

His alma mater released a statement, saying "UNLV has lost a legend as two-time First Team All-American running back Mike Thomas passed away at the age of 66 in his beloved home state of Texas. Our hearts go out to Mike's family and friends."

Details involving the cause of his death will most likely emerge in the near future.

Our thoughts are with Thomas' loved ones.