A former football player who had success in high school ball in East Texas and went on to play in the NFL passed away at the age of 41 last weekend.  A memorial service is coming up Friday.

Rodney Thomas played high school football for the Groveton Indians and helped lead them to two state championships in 1989 and 1990.  He died Saturday night at his mother's home in Groveton, according to KTRE.

Thomas was eventually drafted by the Houston Oilers, and became a backup after they drafted Eddie George.  He went to Nashville when the team moved to Tennessee, and was a member of the team when the Titans lost Super Bowl XXIV to the Rams.  Thomas played his final season in 2001 with the Atlanta Falcons.

The Associated Press story in the Huffington Post says an autopsy is underway to figure out the cause of death.

Services for Thomas will be held in the Groveton ISD high school gym this Friday at 11 a.m. There will be a visitation before the funeral at 9:30 a.m.

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