Each month, I will showcase a current Denver Broncos player and inform you of their lives and accomplishments before coming to Denver. In doing so, I hope to shine a light on each players own unique journey on the road to Mile High. This months featured player is cornerback Syd’Quan Thompson.
Syd’Quan Tramele Thompson was born on February 7, 1987 in Sacramento, California to David and Patty Thompson. He played his high school football at Grant Union High School, where he received the Mr. Football Award in 2003 as the number one ranked junior player in the state of California. As a senior, he recorded 70 tackles and two interceptions on defense, while also rushing for 1,136 yards and 13 touchdowns and recording 10 catches for 46 yards on offense. That season, he earned second-team All-Metro honors and was invited to play in the CaliFlorida Bowl.
Coming out of high school, Thompson was rated as the number-five player in the West Hot 100 by Scout.com, and Rivals.com rated him the 13th best athlete in the nation and the 21st ranked player in California. He was also rated a four-star prospect by both websites. He received scholarship offers from schools such as Arizona, California, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oregon, UCLA, and Washington, but Thompson chose to attend California.
Thompson was a redshirt freshman in 2005. In 2006, Thompson filled the slot vacated by starting cornerback Tim Mixon after Mixon suffered a knee injury in pre-season. Thompson played the entire season, earning 60 tackles, two fumble recoveries, and an interception. He was named to the Sporting News Pac-10 All-Freshman team, and was honored as the team’s Most Valuable Freshman. In 2007, Thompson again started in every game and recorded 78 tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception. During his junior year in 2008, Thompson once again started every game and recorded 70 tackles and a team-high four interceptions that he returned for 128 yards. He also was a standout in punt returns, averaging 12.3 yards per return on 28 punts for 344 yards, including a 73-yard return for a touchdown against Colorado State. He earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors and also received Cal’s Andy Smith Award for most playing time and the team’s Most Valuable Defensive Back Award. In 2009, Thompson started all 13 games for the fourth consecutive season and recorded 49 tackles and an interception. He was named a first-team All-Pac-10 selection for the second straight season and was named a Phil Steele 2009 Postseason All-Pac-10 second-team defense choice. He was also named the team’s Most Valuable Defensive Back for the second consecutive season. In total, Thompson recorded 257 tackles, 43 passes defended, seven interceptions, two sacks, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries (one returned for touchdown), and 36 punt returns for 389 yards and a touchdown.
Thompson was drafted in the seventh round, 225th overall by the Denver Broncos in the 2010 NFL Draft. In his rookie season, he played in 13 games during the season, recording 18 tackles. He also earned his first NFL interception against the New York Jets in Week 2, and late in the season he earned his second career interception against the Houston Texans that sealed a 24-23 win for the Broncos.
Going into his second NFL season, Syd’Quan Thompson will look to compete with the top cornerbacks on the team for a starting spot and to help improve a defense that has struggled in recent years. With a possible move of All-Pro cornerback Champ Bailey to the safety position in the near future, Thompson may likely see more playing time in 2011, which will help hone his skills and gain him valuable experience.
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