Nov 17, 2012; Boulder, CO, USA; Washington Huskies safety Shaq Thompson (7) reacts after his interception in the first quarter of the game against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field. The Huskies defeated the Buffaloes 38-3. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Huskies 2012 Evaluations: LB/S Shaq Thompson

Nov. 23, 2012; Pullman, WA, USA; Washington State Cougars running back Marcus Mason (35) is pulled down by the face mask by Washington Huskies safety Shaq Thompson (7) during the second half at Martin Stadium. The Cougars would go onto beat the Huskies by a final score of 31-28 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Statistics: 67 total tackles, 2 sacks, 3 interceptions.

What He Did In 2012: Thompson came in with tremendous expectations as the most highly-recruited recruit to commit to Washington in many, many years. It would have been so easy for him to disappoint as a true freshman, but instead he earned a starting spot as a safety/linebacker hybrid and steadily improved over the course of the season until he could only be considered a budding star. Not only did he rove around the field tackling with authority, he began to record sacks and nab interceptions regularly. Out of the six final regular season games, Thompson either recorded a sack or an interception in 4 of them, and he finished off the season with 8 tackles against Boise State.

What I Expect Of Him In 2013: Expect him to be one of the most important defenders on the 2013 team. While linebackers like Travis Feeney and John Timu and safety Sean Parker are also veteran defenders, Thompson is a combination of linebacker-sized sideline to sideline tackling ability and safety-type ball skills that just can’t be matched by many players in the country. I think 90 total tackles, 5 sacks, and 5 picks is totally reasonable. Enjoy it while it lasts, too, as at this rate Thompson will likely be off to the NFL after his junior season in 2014.

Tags: Football Washington Huskies

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