Coach Speak: Shaquille Thompson

When news came down last night that Grant (Sacramento, Ca.) S Shaq Thompson had committed to Washington, recruiting sites were abuzz with what type of a player the Huskies were getting and rightly so. Thompson is probably the biggest recruit to commit to UW since the Napoleon Kaufman back in 1991. However, his head coach said there is another side to his top prospect that people should know...

"I've been very fortunate over my years," Grant head coach Mike Alberghini told Tuesday afternoon. "We've had a lot of high-profile kids so, you get used to that kind of notoriety for kids and the tomfoolery type of stuff.

"Shaq's a really special kid. He's really a selfless individual. He's very team-oriented. He's so talented. He's a big, strong kid that can run. He's been a pleasure to be around over the three years that he's played for us."

Thompson was a beast for Pacers the past couple of years, but this year showed his versatility completing 45 of 78 passes for 893 yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions while also rushing for 1,134 yards and 15 scores and also posted 57 tackles and one interception, but Alberghini noted that Thompson isn't just a great athlete.

"He can hurt you from anywhere on the field. You see him as a runner, a quarterback or as a defender," Alberghini noted. "He's the type of guy that just is a playmaker and he can do things that you don't believe are possible at the time. He never ceases to amaze but he's also so humble it's amazing.

"I think he has a lot of skills on both sides of the ball, but I think eventually because of his size, speed and athleticism, being a safety is where he'll have a Sunday career just because of those three things.

"He's a great individual. Soft-spoken, he works hard in the classroom to be successful. He's the type of person who is the group, family and team oriented."

Alberghini also noted his incredible physical talent.

"He's got size – 6'1 ½ and a 215 pound body – athletically gifted. He's exceptionally fast – he finished sixth in the state as a junior in the 200 meters," Alberghini said. "Everything he touches seems to turn to gold and through it all he's just a guy that looks at himself like he's just one of the guys."

Thompson will sign his letter-of-intent on Wednesday and then will arrive in Seattle early this summer.

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