2015 Prospect Profile: ILB Tyriq Thompson

James Ross III and Tyriq Thompson are similar, both in build and play style - Gregory Shamus

Michigan is in need of an inside linebacker in the class of 2015, and it might get one in Detroit MLK prospect Tyriq Thompson.

Film and Ratings

Detroit, MI
Martin Luther King High School
6'1", 210 lbs

Service Star Rating Position Position Rank Overall Rank
247 *** OLB 6 N/A
ESPN *** S N/A N/A
Rivals *** OLB 29 N/A
Scout **** OLB 21 N/A

As you can see, Thompson is largely regarded as a high three-star recruit, sitting outside of four-star range by roughly 50 spots on three of the four major scouting services. We'll get to his potential in a minute, but don't expect him to shoot up the linebacker rankings.

Breakdown

Frame: B
Coming in at just over six feet tall, Thompson looks like a slightly longer version of Michigan linebacker James Ross II off the hoof. He isn't the thickest six-foot linebacker prospect and needs to add muscle before he's ready to play at the college level, but he definitely has the frame to get to a playing weight between 225 and 230 pounds. He has respectable but not great length for block shedding.

Strength: C+
As stated above, Thompson needs to put on ten to twenty pounds of clean weight. He doesn't overwhelm high school blockers, instead using his straight-line explosiveness to his advantage. He needs to get thicker in the legs and chest to be able to square up and get violent with his hands.

Explosiveness/Acceleration: B
Speed: B+
Agility: B-
This is where Thompson makes hay. He's listed as an outside linebacker by most scouts because of his stand-up blitzing ability, and some schools have are even giving him a look at strong safety because of his suddenness and build. He's faster than he is quick, which is why he is constantly being called on to blitz from the edge and get to the running back or passer.

On-Field Awareness: B-
Thompson diagnoses plays fairly quickly, taking the correct angle and gap more often that not. That said, there are times on his film when I find myself wishing he would get more aggressive and maintain better leverage for his defense.

Ball Skills: B
This is tough to gauge based off of Tyriq's film; he doesn't make many plays on the ball while playing defense. He does display average hands on offense from his H-back position when catching wide open play-action passes. The fact that some schools are recruiting him as a safety leads me to believe that he has the potential to be a Kenny Demens type of inside linebacker capable of covering the deep middle with surprising effectiveness.

Technique: C
Thompson has plenty of room for growth in this department. First of all, he needs to be much more aggressive with his hands. He lowers his paws and allows blockers to get in on his torso far too often, both when blitzing and when taking on blockers in the hole. He plays with acceptable pad level and shows a consistent ability to tackle, but he isn't going to scratch his potential until he gets stronger and learns to be strong with his hands.

Ceiling: B-
I'm in agreement with all of the scouting services: Tyriq is a good but not great linebacker prospect who doesn't have the raw ability to crack the top 250 players in the country. He is a well-rounded linebacker target with an above average ceiling, but he has his limitations.

Recruitment

Thompson currently holds offers from the likes of Michigan, Michigan State, NC State, Iowa, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Pittsburgh, among others. Michigan State looked like the team to beat early on, offering him more than four months before Michigan. On-field struggles for the Wolverines combined with a Rose Bowl victory for the Spartans made it appear as if he would end up in East Lansing without a Michigan offer in hand.

Then Michigan offered and his crystal ball swung back to the Wolverines, and it doesn't look like the Spartans will be catching up if the Wolverines keep the pressure on.

Prognostication

As of right now, Michigan looks to be the team to beat for Tyriq's services. The Michigan staff really likes Justin Hilliard at the linebacker position as well; stocking up on MIKE/SAM hybrid linebackers in the past two classes should allow the staff to take both, so a commitment from Thompson probably won't end Michigan's pursuit of Hilliard. Considering how good of a student Thompson is--he lists a 4.3 GPA and 26 ACT in his video--and the fact that he's a legacy recruit for Michigan, it's hard to imagine him ending up anywhere else.

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