Avery Thompson, senior, linebacker, No. 37
Collegiate stats: Nine tackles (5 solo), one fumble forced, one blocked punt recovered for touchdown
High school: Grassfield (Chesapeake, Va.)
High school stats (Senior Year): 75 tackles, five sacks, two interceptions (one for a touchdown), one forced fumble, one fumble recovered
Composite recruiting rating: Three stars (.7998), No. 132 OLB, No. 46 player in Virginia
Who Maryland beat: N/A
High school highlights:
How'd He Get to College Park?
Thompson was named honorable mention all-state after a senior year in which he helped Grassfield to a 10-2 record, but his junior season was even more impressive, at least statistically. He had 113 tackles (nine for a loss) that year, making second team all-district.
Thompson comes from a military family -- his dad is a lieutenant colonel in the Army stationed in South Korea -- and he was born in Tacoma, Washington. He was one of the top linebacker prospects in Virginia as a high school senior, but Maryland was his only offer. He also received interest from a handful of major programs, including Penn State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and UConn, where he was recruited by Randy Edsall.
As a true freshman in 2012, he was a surprise presence on the field for the Terps, playing in ten games (mostly on special teams). He had one tackle - against North Carolina State. He played in all 13 games in 2013, primarily on special teams, but made his first significant impact on the field last year. Thompson recovered a fourth quarter blocked punt in the end zone to give Maryland the late lead against South Florida, eventually securing the win. He also recorded a career-high two tackles with a fumble forced against West Virginia later in non-conference play.
Scoring the eventual winning touchdown against South Florida.
Making the two-deep and seeing spot playing time as one of two senior linebackers on the team.
The addition of Connecticut transfer Jefferson Ashiru complicates Thompson's role a bit, as he's now not the only senior linebacker on the team. With Maryland's move to a 4-3 defense, the role of the team's outside linebackers changes as well. Thompson was a reserve SAM linebacker under the old system, specializing in pass coverage, and new defensive coordinator Keith Dudzinski may be able to take advantage of that against teams with tight end threats. Thompson will likely be battling with Jalen Brooks for the second reserve outside linebacker spot, and will play a role on special teams no matter what.
Our next player is a fan favorite who has not yet played a collegiate down, and could quite possibly play this season due to departures at his position.
jnforsyth34 got that one.
Raventerp1217 - 1
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