5-Star DB Shaq Thompson to Make College Decision at U.S. Army All-American Bowl

Johnathan CaceCorrespondent IDecember 14, 2011

5-Star DB Shaq Thompson to Make College Decision at U.S. Army All-American Bowl

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    One of the nation’s top safeties, Shaq Thompson, has decided to announce his college decision at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The finalist for the U.S. Army Player of the Year has taken visits to Cal, Arizona State, Oregon, Notre Dame and Washington but the most up to date list of schools he’s interested in is Cal, Washington, USC, Arizona State and Oregon in that order.

    He did say earlier in the recruitment process that he wanted to be in a big city and that “Eugene is too small for me.” It would be pretty safe to count out the Ducks and Irish for the same reason though both schools are still actively recruiting him.

    So who will come out on top in this race? Let’s break down the top four contenders.

Arizona State

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    Thompson visited ASU for its game against in-state rival Arizona which the Sun Devils lost in heartbreaking fashion 31-27. Still, he says the trip was not a waste. “It was a great experience. I feel comfortable with the coaches, the players, and the atmosphere.”

    But one quote really stood out. He attended coaches and players meetings and “after that we went to go eat, that was the best part.” Any time you say that going out to eat was the best part of a recruiting trip, it probably means you’re not going to go there. And this was before Dennis Erickson was fired.

    With the team still not having a head coach, the chances of Shaq heading to Arizona State are next to nothing.


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    The Trojans may not have received an official visit from Thompson but they are still very much in the hunt because of their location in Los Angeles and track record of putting players into the NFL.

    They could certainly use a guy as talented as him in their secondary which has had some serious trouble against the spread offenses in the Pac-12, ranking 101st in the country in passing yards allowed per game.

    Still it would be hard to say that Shaq would go to a school that he hasn’t taken an official visit to.


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    Steve Sarkisian has Washington going in the right direction and the combination of that and the campus’ proximity to Seattle could be enough to land Thompson. The school impressed him mom which is one of the requirements but other than that he hasn’t said anything particularly glowing about the program since his visit in September.

    My guess would be that he likes everything about the school but isn’t 100 percent sold about going there. It wouldn’t be a total shock if he went there but nothing has indicated that as of late.


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    The Bears are the hometown team, his brother Syd’Quan went there and he hasn’t denied the fact that they are the top school. The only thing would keep him out of Berkeley would be the coaching situation.

    Jeff Tedford has failed to impress in recent years and with all of the coaching changes taking place across the Pac-12, the university could send him on his way out sooner than later. If Shaq feels like he won’t be there for all four years, it could really factor into his decision.