LB/DB Matt Thompson (39) – 2016 – 6’0”, 202 – Grade: A – vs. LC
Exposures: Game vs. LC
Strengths: Has a very high ceiling. Athletic bloodlines – father was a three-year starter at Ball State on the DL. Best as a run defender. Looks the part – broad shoulders, long arms, and a thick lower body. Fundamentally sound football player; looks well-coached especially for a sophomore. Maintains hitting position – keeps neck bulled, square shoulders, and hips square to the ballcarrier. Moves laterally and mirrors the movements of running backs, and wraps up on contact. Flashes quickness to shed blocks – uses his length to disengage. Has good instincts – takes good angles in pursuit and is quick to read and react. Great in space – can quickly come out of a backpedal, pursue a scrambling QB, and come to balance. Great blitzer who takes good angles to the backfield. Versatile – is also a contributor on kickoff return and kickoff coverage, where he can likely make an early impact as a college freshman.
Weaknesses: Few and far between. Sometimes plays high and could bend more consistently. Takes a false backward step as a blitzer instead of toward the QB.
Summary: Matt had an undeniable impact on the game vs. LC and is a legitimate FBS prospect. His closing speed, instincts, and his consistency around the ball are his biggest strengths. He is a major component of Avon’s defense and looks primed for a great year.