|Tyriq Thompson with his father, Clarence|
Weight: 215 lbs.
High school: Detroit (MI) King
Notes: Holds offers from Duke, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, and Wisconsin . . . Claims a 4.7 forty . . . As a junior in 2013, had 142 tackles, 10 sacks, 7 pass breakups, and 4 forced fumbles . . . ESPN 3-star safety . . . Rivals 3-star, #29 OLB . . . Scout 4-star, #21 OLB . . . 247 Sports 3-star, 88 grade, #21 OLB . . . Son of former Michigan safety Clarence Thompson . . . Moved from Missouri prior to junior year
Strengths: Good build for a weakside linebacker . . . Starts off in a good stance on balls of feet with knees bent . . . Adequate blitzer . . . Decent straight line speed . . . Physical tackler . . . Does a good job of wrapping up ball carriers
Weaknesses: Somewhat stiff in the hips . . . Lacks great explosion . . . Takes false steps out of standard linebacker stance . . . Does not change direction well . . . Does not use hands well to shed blockers . . . Takes poor angles at times . . . Needs to run feet better on contact . . . Tries to outmuscle too many players
Projection: Weakside linebacker. Thompson plays like a middle linebacker, but his body seems more suited to the weakside linebacker position, where he might be able to get away with being 6'1" and fairly light. I do not see him as a dynamic player at the next level, and he seems like someone who would be a depth player or a developmental prospect who might be able to step into a role later in his career. Thompson lacks ideal closing speed and does not show the necessary instincts to make up for a lack of elite athleticism. For whatever reason, I envision him playing for a team like Cincinnati.
Reminds me of: Obi Ezeh. Ezeh was one of those guys who often seemed to be a hair late or a step too slow to make the play, and I'm not sure if Thompson is that guy who can lasso running backs in the hole. He appears to be more successful when he attacks rather than reacts, but college coordinators won't blitz him on every down. I did think Ezeh was miscast as a middle linebacker when he should have been playing on the strong side, whereas Thompson is a little lighter and should probably stay on the weak side, either in a 4-3 Under or perhaps as a weak outside 'backer in a 3-4.
Likelihood of committing to Michigan: As mentioned above, Tyriq's father was a Michigan safety in the mid-1990's. Michigan State was taking the lead prior to Michigan's offer, but now certain insiders believe that Michigan can and will pull ahead for his commitment. Either way, it appears to be a two-horse race between the in-state schools.