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bsn BSN: Tedric Thompson: CU Buffs “deserve to win”

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    BOULDER – One of the strongest areas of the Colorado Buffaloes is their secondary. Led by senior Tedric Thompson at strong safety, the Buffs bolster quite the brigade. Chido Awuzie, Ahkello Witherspoon and Ryan Moeller all return, while Isaiah Oliver looks to have a huge impact in his Sophomore season.

    It’s easy to forget the third-team preseason All-Pac-12 Safety, Thompson, when looking at all other names across the defense. But remembering some of the key plays and big hits he’s made over his college career will have you believing that the Valencia, Calif. native is someone offenses will regret neglecting.

    Phil Steele’s College Football tabbed Thompson as the 17th best safety in the nation coming into 2016. For good reason, too. His 2015 season was low-key prolific. Starting all 13 games, he tied for third on the team in tackles (80) and interceptions (3). Playing the second-most snaps from scrimmage on defense (882) he had nine pass deflections, six third/fourth down stops, and four touchdown saves. All of that coming after a scary concussion put a damper on the end of his sophomore season.

    “I feel good, I feel healthy,” Thompson told BSN Denver. “I’m just excited to have this last year of college football; I’m excited to get these wins and get to a bowl game.”

    A bowl game is the end game for the Buffs in 2016, but how will they get there? For one, every player needs to step up, including the always-solid Thompson.

    “Individually I’ve been trying to work on my man coverage,” he said. “I’m trying to work on my tackling; I think one bad area last year was my tackling. In man, I’ve been trying to go against Devin Ross, who I think is the best slot receiver in the Pac-12, I’ve also been trying to go against Jay MacIntyre. Just working against a lot of the great receivers we got to get (myself) better.”

    Aside from his praise of Ross—to which the “best slot receiver in the Pac-12” responded, “I think he’s the best safety in the Pac-12″—Thompson’s offseason emphasis is intriguing.

    “I feel comfortable,” he detailed. “The whole defense feels extremely comfortable because we know what to do now. We know the right calls, we’re starting to call out plays before we even see ’em. A year under the belt with Levitt’s leadership and how bad he wants to win and his passion. I think that’s rubbed off on a lot of players on the team.”

    You could see the improved recognition and communication during open practices. Thompson and Moeller worked as one lining up in the defensive backfield, always talking, always signaling. The two seem to be on the same page.

    “Last year it was Leavitt’s first year so it was me and Ryan (Moeller’s) and the entire defense’s first time trying to get into the grove of what Leavitt expected out of us and what we expected out of each other,” Thompson explained. “But now that we have a year under our belt, me and Ryan are closer we know each other we always give each other a piece of our game and try to help each other, we’re gonna have a great year together.”

    Expanding from just the safeties, the rest of the secondary is something Thompson himself sees as a strength.

    “Teams are gonna have a hard time trying to pick on our corners,” Thompson explained. “I’m gonna be able to roam around and read the quarterback’s eyes. Even when I’m in man coverage, I know that Ryan Moeller, Afolabi Laguda, Nick Fisher are gonna be right there supporting me on the deep ball, it feels good trusting my DBs and the entire defense.”

    With the schemes Jim Leavitt may run this season, Thompson is someone that will need to cover for the ever-roving Awuzie. But another guy has stood out to the safety, sophomore Isaiah Oliver. Although limited last year to 216 plays from scrimmage, he had flashes, making 19 tackles (16 solo), with six pass breakups and five third-down stops.

    “He’s a terrific corner,” Thompson told of Oliver. “He’s a smart corner; I think that’s gonna help him out. He’s a smart corner and a long corner; he’s got long arms, and he’s fast too so a lot of teams are gonna have trouble with him. They’re not gonna pick on Chido and there not gonna pick on Isaiah, so I feel really confident about our defensive backfield.”

    That defensive backfield will need to have a huge year and once again keep the Buffs positive in the turnover margin if they want to accomplish their lofty goals.

    “I don’t have any real individual goals,” Thompson explained. “This is my last year here. We deserve to win; we deserve to be in all these big time bowl games; we deserve to be ranked. I just want to win, whatever I gotta do to make sure the team wins.”

    Jake Shapiro
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  2. TDforTD

    TDforTD Club Member Club Member

    Feb 8, 2011
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    Good article tho lol.

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