After years of fighting ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), Louisiana football star Orlando Thomas passed away at the age of 42 in Crowley, La.

According to ESPN 1420 AM in Lafayette, Thomas started his football career at Crowley High before signing with UL-Lafayette (then USL) in 1991 at the age of 17. He went on to become an All-American safety for USL, "leading the team in interceptions in both 1993 (9) and 1994 (6)." At the time, was also the school's all-time leader in tackles among defensive backs.

He was drafted by Minnesota in 1995 in the second round, and in his rookie year, he led the NFL in interceptions.

Thomas retired following the 2001 season, ending his NFL career with 457 tackles, 22 interceptions, and 2 touchdowns ...

During his playing days, the 6’1 Thomas weighed in at 225 pounds. Bartelstein says that Thomas was around 70 pounds before his passing.

In 2007, Thomas revealed that he was suffering from the disease.

 -- Scott Prather, ESPN 1420 AM

Our prayers and condolences go to his family.