After Tosh Lupoi bolted from the Cal coaching staff this weekend, the Cal Gang, the elite class of 2012 recruits he helped assemble, is disintegrating with less than two weeks to go until Signing Day.
Shaq Thompson, 6-2, 210, the top-rated safety in the country and a consensus 5-star recruit, has reopened his recruiting and has a top three of Washington, Oregon and Cal. Nick Aliotti visited him today.
Photo right: proud, confident and poised, Shaq Thompson is one of the top high school football recruits in the entire country.
Thompson is a tremendous all-around athlete with great presence on the field. He'll remind many Duck fans of Anthony Newman, a three-year starter at Oregon who went on to play 12 years in the NFL. An Army All-American from Grant High in Sacramento, Thompson closes extremely well, covers a lot of ground in the secondary and tackles like Chuck Norris in cleats. He has the kind of presence and special ability on defense that De'Anthony Thomas displayed as a freshman on offense, with exceptional football instincts and awareness. He's the younger brother of former Cal Bear All-American cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson, so he's grown up playing around older, elite athletes, and it shows.
According to rivals.com, Shaq's earned a 3.2 high school G.P.A. and has been clocked at 4.57 in the 40. That's good speed for a safety, but his anticipation and fluid confidence makes him play even faster. He's a leader and a game-changer. If Oregon were to land him, he's likely to influence a couple of other players to join him, maybe even Arik Armstead. Even adding Thompson alone to what is a very solid recruiting class might make it Oregon's best ever.
From everything I've seen, Shaq Thompson looks like the real deal. His big bro was a stud for the Cal Cubbies so they always had an inside track, but this would be such a big get on the D side of the ball. Come on Ducks !!! Get some !!!!
@dale_newton Shaq is a great talent. Not sure he's the right guy for Oregon. Just something about where his hearts at. based on tweets.
Fingers-crossed he comes to us. Like bobthebuilder said he looked like a college kid playing high-schoolers in the Army game. Pleasant's spot is his to win. Mitchell, ifo/hill with Boyett and Shaq at safety omg.
Has better ball and cover skills than Pleasant, and a very sure tackler. Great instincts.
Does anyone have a current list of the guys we're trying to reel in? It seems like the Ducks are playing it the same way they did last year, hanging on to a couple of scholarships for those kids that open their recruiting back up as the deadline approaches and swooping in with an offer. Let's hope we can close like we did last year! Good thing we have had a few extra slots open up (Thanks LMJ & DT!) for what could be a mammoth recruiting haul! I have no idea if we'll get any of these kids, but it sure is nice to be in the mix for them year in and year out!
I love recruiting season...it feels like Christmas! GO DUCKS!!!
Thanks for the read Dale. Do you think he'd follow Tosh to Washington? I think Shaq has a high character level and saw how Tosh's actions imploded the Cal Gang. That really devastated those Nor-Cal dudes.
He had some nice tackles in the Army All American game, playing against other national elite ballers.
Time will tell what Shaq's decision will be. T-minus thirteen days and counting........
It'd be quite a selling job for Lupoi to convince him to follow him to UW, and a little sketchy. Ducks have continuity and a consistent message on their side, an opportunity to play for a national championship. It's going to be an interesting stretch drive to NSD.
@dale_newton Dale your the man!! Tell your wife I said that, great reads always!!
@kylecadd Appreciate it, KC. Not in a relationship currently, but always on the lookout for the next ex-Mrs. Newton.