Washington is going to have some big shoes to fill on defense in 2015. Linebacker Shaq Thompson will enter the 2015 NFL Draft, forgoing his final year of eligibility with the Huskies.
“After careful prayer and consideration and speaking with my family and Coach Petersen at great lengths, I have decided to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft,” Thompson said in a statement released by Washington’s athletics department. “This was not an easy decision for me, I love the University of Washington, and everything the U-Dub community has done for me these past three years.”
“Shaq Thompson has been a wonderful representative of the University of Washington and the Husky football team, and he has our full support as he takes this important step,” Washington head coach Chris Petersen said in another statement. “I look forward to what’s to come for him and to watching him embark on what will be a long, successful NFL career.”
Thompson passing on his final year at Washington is hardly a surprise. The All-American linebacker turned in a brilliant 2014 season, highlighted in part by four defensive touchdowns and 80 tackles. Thompson also brought some versatility and flexibility to the Washington roster, proving capable of playing running back for the Huskies when called upon. At the next level though, Thompson will be scouted for his defensive abilities.
Barring some complete bizarre circumstances leading up to the NFL Draft, Thompson is expected to be an easy first-round draft pick later this spring.