Napoleon Kaufman. Tommie Smith. Charles Frederick…all were amazing on the gridiron for the Dawgs, but they also share something in common: they were all highly touted out of state recruits for Washington. Could there be another now added to that list? Steve Sarkisian’s Huskies sent shockwaves across the recruiting landscape monday night when Shaq Thompson (Grant Union HS, CA) verbally committed to UW, via his Twitter account, beating out the likes of California and Oregon. If you have been reading our previous updates you may have some understanding as to how big this is, but if you have not let me give you a rundown.
- #1 rated Safety in the country (Scout.com)
- #3 rated recruit in the country (Scout.com)
- 2012 Parade All American, 2012 US Army All-American Bowl participant, 2010 California state player of the year.
- Jr./Sr. year HS Statistics:
- Rushing: 284 carries, 3016 yards, 10.5 yards/carry, 25 TDs
- Tackles: 111
- Points accounted for: 264 (44 total TDs)
This is by far the biggest recruit Sark has landed since being on Montlake, and it could even be the biggest defensive recruit since the Don James era. Thompson is in a class of his own. Measuring in at 6’2″, 215 lbs, he is a safety in a linebacker’s body. He runs a 4.5 forty time and can strike fear into any receiver crossing between the hashmarks. Excited yet? Thompson possesses great closing speed, pursuit angles and range, and is a surefire tackler in the open field, getting low and driving through his opponent. On top of this, he has a high football IQ, regularly putting himself in the correct position to make plays and shows great defensive awareness. Even as a safety, he is above average in man to man coverage, which has been terrible for the Dawgs in the past. Lastly, and probably my favorite quality about him, is he is very good at coming up and stuffing the run. He can lay people out. In short, Thompson does everything. He is Taylor Mays 2.0, and if you are unfamiliar with the former USC standout, look him up. You won’t be disappointed. Shaq will immediately see the field in the upcoming season, and will most likely start for the Dawgs, giving the secondary a huge boost that it sorely needs. Continue reading