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Top Huskies For 2013 — No. 3: Shaq Thompson

That the Huskies have a sophomore as arguably their best defender in 2013 is not an indictment of the rest of the defense - Shaq Thompson is just that good.

Ezra Shaw

The Huskies' phenom outside linebacker is beginning to gain national recognition. If he played a glamor position, everybody would already be aware of him, but as far as underclass defenders go, he's beginning to get the recognition he deserves.

A jack of all trades because he has the ability to do just about everything on the field, we've already discussed a couple of things about Shaq:

We want to see him given a bigger role in the defense in his second season with Justin Wilcox. More bilitzing, more moving around and more general disguising of Thompson's post snap behavior will only increase his production.

We know that his talents enable the Husky defense to flip flop its fronts and remain versatile in its pre-snap alignments.

As a freshman, Shaq accumulated 74 tackles (5th on the team), 8.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 3 interceptions, 3 breakups and 1 fumble recovery. In most games he made his presence known, and in every game opposing offenses had to account for him.

More than any other Husky defensive player in recent memory, I'm excited to watch Shaq on defense. For years the defense was close-your-eyes-and-pray bad, but with the turnaround from 2011 to 2012, the defense became not only watchable, but often enjoyable to watch. And a big part of that was the play of Shaq Thompson. I don't know what we'll see from him in 2013, but it's going to be fun to watch. The sky is the limit with this young man, and we're lucky enough to be able to enjoy him for the next couple of years.

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