Pro Highlights

  • In 2016, set career highs in games played (16), starts (seven), total tackles (77, No. 4 on the team), solo tackles (62) and passes defensed (eight), while also registering the first interception and fumble recovery of his career.
  • Recorded a career-best 10 tackles (all solo) in Week 14 vs. Seattle and matched it the next week with 10 tackles (eight solo) at Chicago.
  • Played in all three 2016 postseason contests with two starts, tying for No. 4 on the team with 13 total tackles.
  • Played in 14 games in 2015 and registered 24 tackles (16 solo), a sack, a forced fumble, five QB hits, four pressures and two passes defensed. Added nine tackles on special teams, which was tied for No. 4 on the team.
  • Played in both 2015 postseason contests and recorded eight tackles (seven solo).
  • Was with the Packers during the 2015 offseason and preseason before being waived on Sept. 5, 2015. Was signed to Green Bay’s 53-man roster on Sept. 21, 2015, from the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad.
  • Entered the league with the Packers as an undrafted free agent in May 2014. Was on Green Bay’s practice squad for the final eight games of the 2014 regular season and both playoff contests.

College

Appeared in 41 games with 30 starts for the Bulldogs in his four-year career, compiling 271 tackles (188 solo), including 31 for a loss, 11½ sacks, nine passes defensed, four INTs, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries…Earned a degree in business…Senior season (2013): Anchored a defense that ranked No. 1 in FCS 1-AA, and was named the 2013 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and Sheridan Broadcast Network Defensive Player of the Year…Started all 13 games in which he played and notched a team-high 115 tackles (82 solo), including 19 for a loss, 7½ sacks, five passes defensed, an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery…Also earned first-team all-conference honors...Recorded 12 tackles (11 solo), including five for a loss, a career-high three sacks and a pass defensed in the win vs. Alabama A&M (Sept. 14)…Recorded a career-high 16 tackles (nine solo), the highest single-game total for the Bulldogs that year, a sack and a fumble recovery vs. Bethune-Cookman (Oct. 26)…Helped South Carolina State earn their 15th MEAC Championship, leading the Bulldogs to a 17-3 win at Norfolk State (Nov. 23) with 10 tackles (seven solo), including four for a loss, and a sack…Junior season (2012): Started the first six games of the season as the team’s “Mike” linebacker, but had his season cut short after suffering an injury at North Carolina Central (Oct. 6)…Compiled 39 tackles (26 solo), five tackles for a loss, a sack, a pass defensed and a forced fumble prior to the injury…Tallied a season-high 11 tackles (eight solo), including three for a loss and his first sack of the season, vs. Bethune-Cookman (Sept. 8)…Made 10 stops (eight solo) and forced a fumble at Arizona (Sept. 15)...Sophomore season (2011): Named the team’s defensive MVP after he opened all 11 games at WLB for the Bulldogs defense…Finished second on the team with 100 tackles (67 solo), including five for a loss, 2½ sacks, a team-high three INTs and a fumble recovery…Made his first career start at Central Michigan (Nov. 1), recording 10 tackles (three solo) and his first career INT, which he returned 14 yards…Made 14 stops (seven solo) at Indiana (Sept. 17) and totaled 12 tackles (eight solo) at Norfolk State (Oct. 1)…Recorded 14 tackles (12 solo), including one for a loss, and an INT vs. Georgia State (Oct. 15)…Redshirt freshman season (2010): Played in 11 of 12 games, contributing mainly on special teams…Finished with 17 tackles (13 solo), including two for a loss, a pass defensed and a fumble recovery.

Personal

Given name Joe Lewis Thomas Jr. …Born in Aiken, S.C. …Single…His cousin, Troy Brown, played wide receiver for the New England Patriots from 1993-2007 and won three Super Bowls during his career…High school: Lettered four years as a running back at Blackville-Hilda High School in Blackville, S.C., earning all-state honors as a senior in 2008 and a junior in 2007…Named the Division 1A South Carolina Player of the Year after rushing for 1,976 yards and 31 TDs as a senior…Also earned three letters in basketball, two in soccer and two in track, where he competed in the 4x100-meter relay and threw the shot put…Community involvement: Volunteered at soup kitchens during his time at South Carolina State…Residence: Blackville, S.C.