Shaq Thompson

Shaq Thompson

refer to caption

Thompson in 2016
No. 54Carolina Panthers
Position: Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1994-04-21) April 21, 1994
Place of birth: Sacramento, California
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High school: Sacramento (CA) Grant Union
College: Washington
NFL Draft: 2015 / Round: 1 / Pick: 25
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 5, 2016
Total tackles: 66
Sacks: 1.0
Forced fumbles: 0
Pass deflections: 3
Interceptions: 0
Defensive Touchdowns: 1
Player stats at

Shaquille Green-Thompson (born April 21, 1994), is an American football linebacker for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Washington.

Early years

A native of Sacramento, California, Thompson attended Grant Union High School, where he was a three-sport star in football, track and baseball. He was named first-team All-America by, Parade Magazine and USA Today, and second-team All-America from and Sports Illustrated. He was one of six finalists for the U.S. Army National Player of the Year award. He was named the area's player of the year by The Sacramento Bee, and also the Player of the Year in the Delta Valley League. As a sophomore, he helped Pacers to a 12-1 overall record. As a junior, he rushed for 1,882 yards and 25 touchdowns on 164 carries, helping lead Grant to an 8-4 record and the quarterfinals of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs. He was named the Delta Valley League MVP in 2011. He totaled 57 tackles as a senior while also rushing for 1,134 yards and 15 touchdowns on 120 carries and passing for 893 yards and eight more scores. He also played in the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl after his senior year.[2]

He was also a standout baseball player. Thompson was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 18th round of the 2012 MLB Draft, and played for the Sox' rookie-level team in the Gulf Coast League in the summer of 2012.[3] He decided to end his baseball career and focus on football full-time after he went 0–39 with 37 strikeouts over 13 games.[4]

Also a talented sprinter, Thompson lettered all four years in track & field. He posted a personal-best time of 10.96 seconds in the 100-meter dash at the 2010 CIF San Joaquin Master Finals, where he took seventh.[5] He finished fifth in the 200-meter dash (21.69 s) at the 2010 CIF State Track and Field Championships.[6] At the 2011 CIF State Track and Field Championships, he placed seventh (21.77 s) in the 200 metres, in a race dominated by defending state champion Remontay McClain.[7]

Thompson was regarded as a five star-recruit. He was ranked the No. 1 safety and the No. 3 overall prospect in the country by He was listed as the No. 1 safety in the nation, No. 4 overall recruit in the country and the No. 1 prospect in the state of California by He was also rated the No. 4 recruit in the country by SuperPrep, which also named him the Far West Defensive Player of the Year. He first committed to the University of California, Berkeley before changing his commitment to the University of Washington on January 31, 2012.[8]

Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Shaq Thompson
Sacramento, California Grant Union High School 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 210 lb (95 kg) 4.57 Jan 31, 2012 
Scout:5/5 stars   Rivals:5/5 stars   247Sports:5/5 stars    ESPN grade: 84
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 3 (overall), 1 (S)   Rivals: 4 (overall), 1 (S), 1 (CA)  ESPN: 16 (overall), 3 (S), 3 (CA)
  • ‡ Refers to 40 yard dash
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


College career

Thompson in 2011.

Thompson played at the University of Washington from 2012 to 2014, where he played safety, slot corner, linebacker, and running back. As a junior, he won the Paul Hornung Award and was named an All-American.[9][10] Thompson announced on Jan. 5, 2015 that he would forgo his senior season and declare the 2015 NFL Draft.[11][12]

As a freshman in 2012, Thompson earned an honorable mention All-Pac-12, was named second-team Freshman All-American by and was picked for the Travis Spring Most Outstanding Freshman award at the team banquet. He started at nickel back in his first college game in a season-opener vs. San Diego State. He made seven tackles, two for loss, and had a crucial, late interception that he returned 33 yards in a win at Cal. He also had a strong performance at Washington State, collecting eight tackles, including a sack, and also recovering a fumble and returning it 21 yards.

As a sophomore in 2013, Thompson played in every game and started all but the Apple Cup at linebacker. He was an honorable mention All-Pac-12. He picked up the team's Chuck Niemi Big Hit Award. He scored on an 80-yard interception return in the win at Oregon State, where he also had four tackles. He notched six tackles in the Apple Cup win over Washington State. He recorded eight tackles in the Huskies' win over BYU in the Fight Hunger Bowl.

In his final year at Washington in 2014, Thompson was awarded the fifth annual Paul Hornung Award, given to the nation's most versatile player. He was named first-team All-America by ESPN, CBS Sports, and SB Nation. He announced on Jan. 5, 2015 that he would forgo his senior season and enter the 2015 NFL Draft. He was named a Midseason All-American by ESPN,, CBS Sports and Phil Steele. He was listed as the national defensive player of the year by three of six writers on the CBS Sports panel. He scored six touchdowns in 2014, two as a running back and four on defense (one interception return and three fumble returns). He was named a first-team preseason All-America by Athlon. He made's preseason All-America second team. He was also named to the preseason watch list for both the Bednarik (top defensive player) and Paul Hornung (most versatile player) Awards. He started each of the Huskies' games for the season. In a victory over Eastern Washington, he notched 15 tackles, including a sack, forced a fumble and also had three carries for 66 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown run. He was named the national defensive player of the week by the Walter Camp Foundation and Athlon's following a two-touchdown performance vs. Illinois, where he scored on a 36-yard interception return and on a 52-yard fumble return, becoming the first Husky on record to have scored two defensive touchdowns in the same game. He scored his third idefensive touchdown (and fourth overall) vs. Stanford, returning a fumble (that he forced) 32 yards for a score. He also had seven tackles, including one for a loss, and forced another fumble vs. the Cardinal. He scored on a 100-yard fumble return in the win at Cal, where he was a game captain. He is one of just four 100-yard plays in University of Washington history (others were a punt return by Hugh McElhenny and kickoff returns by Paul Arnold and John Ross). He also had a game-high 11 tackles against the Bears, and was named the National Defensive Player of the Week by Athlon, as well as Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week, following the Cal game. He played mostly running back vs. Arizona State, gaining 98 yards on 21 carries, and also caught two passes for 15 yards. He started at tailback at Colorado, rushing for 174 yards and a touchdown on just 15 carries (11.6-yard average), leading this to be named the team's offensive player of the game after the win in Boulder. He made a second straight start at tailback, but also saw a good deal of action on the defense, vs. UCLA, when he was a game captain. He rushed for 100 yards on 16 carries vs. the Bruins, while also notching four tackles. He played only on defense and special teams at Arizona, finishing with three tackles. He made five tackles in the Apple Cup win at Washington State. He posted 10 tackles, including half of a tackle for loss, in the Cactus Bowl. He was tied for second in the nation with four fumble recoveries. Following his junior season, Thompson declared for the 2015 NFL Draft.

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 0 in 228 lb 4.60 s 1.60 s 2.53 s 4.08 s 6.99 s 33.5 in 9 ft 9 in
All values from NFL Combine

Shaq Thompson was drafted 25th overall by the Carolina Panthers in the 2015 NFL Draft.

On May 7, 2015, Thompson signed a four-year, $8.8 million contract.[13] He was named the Panthers starting strongside linebacker position during the season-opener at Jacksonville.[14] During the Panthers week 2 victory over the Houston Texans, Thompson recorded 4 stops and 1 quarterback hurry.[15] Thompson continued to play well during the Panthers week 3 win over the New Orleans Saints when he recorded 7 tackles as well as his first career sack.[16] Through the first three games of the season, Thompson rated as PFF's highest rated first round rookie.[17] During a week 6 victory over the Seattle Seahawks Thompson tallied 4 tackles. Thompson suffered a knee sprain towards the end of the game.[18] Through the first 10 weeks of the season, Thompson had a 7.6 run stop percentage, 17th best among 4-3 outside linebackers according to PFF.[19] Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the regular season finale, Thompson recorded seven tackles, his highest output since week 3.[20] Thompson had 50 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 passes defensed in his rookie season. In the playoffs, the Panthers beat both the Seahawks and Cardinals to reach Super Bowl 50, but lost 24-10 to the Denver Broncos. In the Super Bowl, Thompson had 5 tackles.


Raised in Sacramento, California, Shaq Thompson is the son of Patty Thompson, a single mother, and the youngest of four brothers. His older brother Syd'Quan Thompson played for the Denver Broncos.[21]


  1. By Pac-12 ConferenceDec 1, 2014 (2014-12-01). "announces Football All-Academic teams". Pac-12. Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  2. Shaq Thompson. "Shaq Thompson - 2012 Football Roster - | University of Washington Athletics". Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  3. "Shaq Green-Thompson can hit receivers, but not the curveball". USA Today. August 15, 2012.
  4. Shaq Thompson and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Baseball Career | Cespedes Family Barbecue
  5. "Sac-Joaquin Masters Finals - Track & Field Meet". 2013-10-08. Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  6. "CIF California Track & Field State Meet - Final Results (Raw)". Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  7. 2011 Results - California CIF State Track and Field Championships
  8. Biggins, Greg (January 31, 2012). "Shaq Thompson commits to Huskies". ESPN Recruiting Nation. ESPN. Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  9. UW’s Shaq Thompson wins Paul Hornung Award as college football’s most versatile player
  10. Washington’s Shaq Thompson, as always, looking at a lot of options in his football career
  11. All-American Shaq Thompson Headed To The NFL
  12. Shaq Thompson to enter NFL draft
  13. "Shaq Thompson Contract Details, Salary Cap Breakdowns, Salaries, Bonuses". Spotrac. Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  15. Personjperson, Joseph (2015-09-20). "Carolina Panthers report card 09.20.15". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  16. Final (2015-09-27). "Saints vs. Panthers - Box Score - September 27, 2015 - ESPN". Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  17. "How all 32 first-round picks have played | PFF". Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  18. Jonesjjones, Jonathan (2015-10-19). "Panthers LB Shaq Thompson's status in doubt after knee injury vs. Seahawks". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  19. "NFL Power Rankings | NFL Week 11 | Pro Football Focus | PFF". Pro Football Focus. Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  20. "Stats and Superlatives: Panthers' Historical Regular Season". 2016-01-03. Retrieved 2016-09-18.
  21. Condotta, Bob (February 14, 2012). "Full of surprises: The story behind Shaquille Thompson signing with Washington". Seattle Times.
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