Dedication And Toughness
Former Syracuse Safety Shamarko Thomas is now a rookie in the NFL, he is also part time custodian and surrogate father to five children. But unlike other NFL players who have fathered children prior to being drafted, Shamarko is head of his own household having acquired legal custody of his five siblings. In his sophomore year at Syracuse, Shamarko’s mother Ebeth Shabazz died of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart condition that effects the the ability to pump blood.
Shamarko was faced with a serious decision, to either quite school and return to his hometown of Virginia Beach in an effort to support his siblings, or continue with his education. No one in Shamarko’s family had graduated college, it was the dream of his mother Ebeth, as well as his own. As fate would have it, Shamarko’s grandmother would assume responsibility of the Thomas children so that her talented grandson could stay in school with hopes of graduating as well as having a chance at being drafted in the NFL. Shamarko took full advantage of both his educational and sports opportunities, developing a work ethic and routine that was second to none in the eyes of those who knew him best. Thomas’ head coach at Syracuse had this to say: “I’ve been coaching for 23 years, he’s the toughest, hardest worker I’ve ever coached”.
It’s all paid off to this point for Thomas, his on field abilities impressed the Steelers coaching staff enough to select him in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft. His chances of making the team look to be in his favor, he has already impressed his teammates and coach’s in the off season work outs and with the age and health of the current secondary, they could ill afford to not take advantage of developing his talent as a sound replacement for the future of the safety position. Of course time will tell, but he does show early signs of being the type of hard nosed dedicated player the Steelers traditionally have and need on their defense.
SHAMARKO THOMAS signed *PITTSBURGH STEELERS* mini football helmet W/COA