SaberCats' Thomas wins AFL defensive player of the year

SaberCats' Thomas wins AFL defensive player of the year
August 16, 2013, 9:15 am

Clevan Thomas returned to action this year for the first time since the conclusion of the 2008 season. (SaberCats Media Services)

Clevan Thomas posted a total of 74.0 tackles (65 solo) and recovered two fumbles this season. (SaberCats Media Services)

SAN JOSE, Calif. - The Arena Football League announced Thursday that defensive back Clevan Thomas was named the AFL’s Riddell Defensive Player of the Year.

This honor is in addition to already having been named the AFL’s Defensive Back of the Year, as well as earning a First Team All-Arena selection.

[RELATED: SaberCats end regular season on high note, beat Rush 65-40]

This marks the third time in his illustrious career that he has been named the Defensive Player of the Year, after bringing home the hardware in 2002 and 2003. This also marks the second consecutive season in which a member of the SaberCats defense earned this honor (defensive lineman Joe Sykes did so in 2012).

“We are really happy for Clevan, he is such a special player,” SaberCats owner and head coach Darren Arbet said regarding the league’s announcement. “He is an extremely hard-worker and was never satisfied, always working to get better and improve others around him. His ability to make big plays and lead this team was a huge part of our success this past year.”

Thomas (5-10, 195, Florida State) returned to action this year for the first time since the conclusion of the 2008 season. The AFL Hall of Fame selection set a new single-season franchise record with 15 interceptions, tying for the league lead. He was also named the team’s Defensive Most Valuable Player and Most Inspirational Player for 2013.

SaberCats Media Services contributed to this report.

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