If there is one unit for the 2011 Texas Longhorns that won’t create any questions it’s the linebacking corps.
Widely considered to be one of the best in the country, and anchored by Emmanuel Acho, Keenan Robinson and Jordan Hicks, the linebackers should shine this season.
Given that, incoming freshmen likely will not see much playing time, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have a bright future on the Forty Acres. This is especially true for Carthage, Texas native Kendall Thompson.
Thompson, a 6’2″, 235 pound outside linebacker, was rated as a three-star prospect by both Rivals.com and ESPN.com but is still considered one of the top prospects in this year’s recruiting class due to his unlimited potential.
The Texas coaching staff loves Thompson’s explosiveness and strength off the line, and his ability to punish opposing run blockers and get into the backfield with ease. Thompson is also noted to have that rare ability–some would consider it a sixth sense–of being in the right place at the right time.
Anyone who watches college football consistently knows that is something that players at that level either have or do not have, it can’t be taught. This ability alone should ensure that Thompson sees time in 2012, if not in 2011 at linebacker or as a contributor with the special teams.
It’s possible that the Texas coaching staff will make the decision to redshirt Thompson in 2011 and it would make sense given the depth at linebacker. A year to concentrate on developing more strength and learning Manny Diaz’s defensive system could help Thompson break into the depth charts in 2012 and be a strong contributor to the Longhorns’ success going forward.