Shaq Thompson: Washington’s Next Big Thing


Shaq used to be the most feared name in the NBA.  Now, Washington’s Shaq Thompson is well on his way to bring that same notoriety to the NFL.

A sophomore and California native, Shaq Thompson was named along with two other Huskies (Danny Shelton and Hau’oli Kikaha) as players to watch this year as potential Chuck Bednarik award winners.  This award is given annually to the top college defensive player.  What separates Thompson from the other two young men is that he is also a likely candidate for the Paul Hornung award, given to the most effective and versatile player in college football.

Standing at 6’2″ and weighing 225 lbs, Thompson has found the linebacker position to be a spot where he thrives on the field, but that is not all he can do.  The coaching staff at Washington has already made it clear they plan to utilize him as a kick returner, and even a tailback at times.

His versatility could be incredibly favorable for him if he seriously wants to make it into the NFL.  He is only an average size linebacker, a knock that Michael Sam also took despite being named co-SEC Defensive Player Of The Year.

When your physical stature doesn’t separate you from the rest at your positions’ competition, it’s a huge benefit to be flexible. Thompson’s willingness and ability to fill multiple roles on the football field could be just what he needs to get the NFL scouts buzzing about him, and the PAC-12 is a great conference for him to showcase his many talents.

The loss of Bishop Sankey is a blow for the Huskies, but the rise of Shaq Thompson is a great healing aid.  Keep an eye on this kid…he has all of the tools he needs to be big time.