After a stellar three-year career at the University of Washington, Shaq Thompson fulfilled a lifelong dream today when the Carolina Panthers selected him with the 25th pick of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Considered one of the finest athletes nationwide in his 2012 high school class, Shaq shone for the Huskies, primarily as a linebacker and occasionally as a running back and safety. As a junior, he proved to be one of Washington's lynchpins in Chris Petersen's first season with the Dawgs, registering 80 tackles and scoring four touchdowns on defense, and averaging 7.48 yards per carry and scoring two rushing touchdowns on offense. He capped off the year by earning first-team all-America honors and winning the 2014 Paul Hornung Award as the nation's most versatile player.
Here's an excerpt from his draft profile we published earlier in the week:
Shaq will be best utilized by a defense that positions him as a rover and gives him opportunities to put his nose on the ball and create turnover opportunities. Thompson demonstrated his absurd quickness by registering the top time in the Combine's 20-yard shuttle drill among outside linebackers, at 4.08 seconds, and has hours of tape from his play at Washington showing his skill in taking on opposing players in one-on-one situations. The team that recognizes his skill at making plays in open space will have found itself a monster of a defensive player.
Be sure to check out some of the highlights of Shaq's 2014 season below.