Player Profile Series: Der'rikk Thompson

Our player profile series continues with a look at WR Der'rikk Thompson!

Der'rikk Thompson

Position: Wide Receiver

Size: 5-11, 190

High School: Troup (TX)

Classification: Junior

2012 Review: Der'rikk Thompson has attempted to use his exceptional speed to become SMU's top deep threat receiver the last two seasons. At times, he has shown an ability to create separation from his defenders and stretch the field. He was also effective as the teams kick returner 16 times for an average of 25.7 yards per return last year.

Thompson showed an ability to make big plays by scoring four touchdowns last year that were each 25 yards or more. He had a 42-yard touchdown vs. Baylor, 37-yarder vs. Memphis, 29-yarder against TCU and 25-yarder vs. Tulsa. He also led the team with five receptions in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl for 82 yards.

All that being said, it was a somewhat disappointing season for Thompson. He finished the year with just 41 receptions for 535 yards and never found a groove in the offense. He had expectations to make a big leap, but Garret Gilbert never consistently targeted Thompson enough.

He was held to three catches or less nine times and did not have a 100-yard game. Part of that is on the quarterback, but Thompson also needs to improve. He relied too much on his speed to get open and needs to work on his running smarter and more precise routes.

Grade: C+

2013 Outlook: The coaching staff is hoping yet again that Thompson is on the verge of a breakout year. He has the size and speed to become a great receiver in SMU's offense and has shown flashes throughout his career as a Mustang. However, he has also been very inconsistent and must improve his chemistry with Gilbert to make a significant leap.

New offensive guru Hal Mumme and head coach June Jones have plans to blend their Air Raid and Run N' Shoot offenses together next season, so team expectations on offense are very high. Along with Darius Joseph and Jeremy Johnson, Thompson is expected to play a big role for the Mustangs next year as they are expected to pass the ball quite frequently.

If he can successfully spread the field for SMU from the outside, Thompson will finally live up to his expectations. If he doesn't step up, the Mustangs could see some trouble in the passing game again this season. Gilbert will need all of his weapons playing well to have this offense working at an elite level and Thompson is a big part of that.

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