By Marc Mandell 3/2/17
The 6′ 205 lb safety has been an integral part of the 9th ranked Buffs for 3 years, bringing his incredible athleticism and intelligence to what would become not only the 9th ranked team in NCAA football, but also have the 3rd best defense against opposing QB’s.
Ladies and Gents, meet Tedric Thompson.
Long speed, and the understanding of QB’s intentions make the younger (Cedric Thompson, his older brother, was drafted be the Dolphins in 2015) Thompson attractive to NFL teams. His wide receiver days taught him to have inviting hands, and defensively as a SS and FS, he used his intelligence to break down plays quickly, as well as using his speed to make a play on the ball. He has been able to impose, and develop these abilities throughout his time in Boulder, CO.
Here is a brief scouting report on him, and the reason why we should all be excited about him, but also why he probably won’t go before Saturday’s selections.
Good: His speed and ability to diagnose a play are very appealing and well tuned. He has good hands and is able to make plays on the ball. He can stay in front of the route and push the receiver to the inside, where he can get some help by the rest of the secondary. Intelligence, speed and athleticism makes him appealing.
Weakness: Size and weight. He is average height and weight, but he doesn’t have that pop when hitting the ball carrier like some of the bigger Safety’s do in the NFL. While Thompson could do it in college, the pro’s are a different game. He will also struggle with play-action by taking the bait and over pursuing, allowing the offender to get on top of the defense.
Result: A young talented player that has a lot of potential. He can make a play on the ball, but has some growth left. Both literally and figuratively. He needs to put some more muscle and size on his frame, and learn how to develop at the pro level. With good coaching, he has the potential to be a starter, just not yet.
In High School at Valencia, Thompson played on both sides of the ball. While that is not uncommon, his numbers and ability were. Like I mentioned in the last article about Awuzie, most players that make the pros are often the best player their high school has ever seen. Thompson is no different. He was always far above the national average in tackles per game and total tackles on defense and receiving yards per game and yards after catch on the other.
He was what you think of, when you think of a high school stand out. He was the fastest, most athletic and the most dynamic on the field. In three years, he amassed 1272 yards as a receiver, coupled with 15 TD’s. All while on the varsity team.
His defensive game was the same way, well, better really. He was ranked as the 60th best safety in the nation and a Second team All-State performer. He had 170 tackles, 40 passes defensed and 6 picks. His senior year he found himself involved in 53 tackles, 23 of which were solo. He had three forced fumbles and recovered one of those as well. It’s more than just numbers for him in high school, he made plays when the team needed him the most. He was a clutch player.
College was just a continuation of his growth. He only had three starts as a true Freshman, but he was involved in every game. Overall, it was a relatively quiet year for Thompson, with just 24 tackles on the solo, and only 3 passes knocked down. He played both the FS and SS positions that year and participated in 323 snaps.
His Sophomore year was more productive though. He was starting to show his ball hawking skills with three picks and accumulated 45 solo’s. In fact, he was leading the team in tackles through 8 weeks, until frighteningly, it all nearly came to an end on Oct. 25, 2014. The impact of his head with the knee of the UCLA player almost ended his career. He missed the rest of the 2014 season due to that horrible concussion, and it was a true shame, not only because the damage to his body, but also in that he was demonstrating more of that clutch type play that he had shown in high school. He had five third-down stops and four touchdown saves. It was a sad end to the year, but fortunately he was ready for his next season.Here is the video of that injury.
It was after that injury in his Sophomore year that Thompson really started to explode in production. So much so, that he has become one of the top safety’s in the Pac-12, and is drawing interest from NFL teams.
Of his three INT’s during his Junior year, he returned them for 112 yards… yeah that’s right, 112 yards on three picks! He was a part of 80 tackles, set a career high for tackles in a single game with 12 against Oregon and had 9 passes defensed. He had 5 tackles for a loss and stopped the ball for no gain on 4 other occasions. Oh, and let’s not forget about that blocked field goal against the CSU Rams. Which CU went on to win. He played in all 13 games, and made his presence felt every week.
And now, his stellar senior year.
Being a part of a 9th ranked over-all defense, and 9th ranked in all of college football, Tedric Thompson helped make all that possible. This was by far his best year as a Buff. He was a First team All-Pac12 selection by the AP and CBS selected him to Second team All-American. The 7 INT’s led the Pac-12 and the Buffs. He won the Pac-12 defensive player of the week, twice, he had 2 picks each in both of those games. He also led all FBS players with 25 passes defensed. Thompson recorded 15 third-down stops and 8 touchdown saves. I could go on and on about how well he did, and how outstanding he is as an athlete, but If you are a CU fan you know how well they did on defense last year.
I’m very excited to see how he does both in the Draft and in the NFL. A great prospect that will represent Colorado and the Buffs very very well.
As always, thank you so much for reading. Keep checking back for updates and new info on our local players!