Today’s Obscure Spotlight lived his NFL career on the AmTrak between Philadelphia and DC. James Thrash went undrafted out of Missouri Southern State University (Yes, that’s a real university) to the Eagles in 1997, but was cut during training camp. The Redskins signed Thrash, and he played in four games for Washington. He ticked the stat sheet for the first time in week 15 of that season, catching two passes for 24 yards.
Thrash created a role for himself as a kick returner, despite seeing little action as a wide receiver. Then in 2000, James Thrash the wide receiver emerged. He caught 50 passes for 653 yards and two touchdowns.
The Eagles lost three straight NFC Championship games between 2001-00– in large part, many argued, because quarterback Donovan McNabb lacked a serious receiving threat. These, coincidentally, were the three years Thrash suited up in an Eagles uniform. 2001 was James Thrash’s best season. He racked up 63 catches for 833 yards and eight td’s, lined up opposite from fellow obscure athlete Todd Pinkston.
Every year after the magical ’01 season was part of a downhill slope for Thrash– he got worse each year that followed. After 2003, the declining Thrash moved back to Washington, probably even getting back his old apartment. In 2008, his final season in the NFL, he caught just 9 passes for 81 yards. He left the league with a total of 290 catches in his 12 seasons. And if he stuck around just one more season in Philly, he’d have gotten a trip to the Super Bowl out of it!