The Word on the Herd -- Sept. 17, 2016
Akron 65, Marshall 38
Marshall 62, Morgan State 0
Four named to first team
Marshall secured its third straight season of 10 or more wins
One of the big impact players on the Marshall defense and one of four returning starters … Enters senior season in 2016 with 107 career tackles in 36 games…Is team career leader in sacks (14) and tackles for loss (21), and has 2 interceptions, 9 pass breakups, 6 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries … Among the Herd’s strongest players, ranked second in total weight lifted (1,345 pounds; bench, squat, power clean) in Summer 2015 testing … Bench press of 445 was No. 2 behind offensive lineman Nate Devers’ 485. Also has 570 on squat and 330 in power clean … Gaining MU degree (Sports Management and Marketing) in August 2016.
R-JUNIOR SEASON (2015): Named All-Conference USA honorable mention after recording a Herd-leading 9 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss … Posted 16 QB hurries … Forced five fumbles. No teammate had more than one … His 558 snaps played led the Herd defensive front’s eight-man rotation … First-year starter, and started the last 12 games in the Herd’s 10-3 season and at the Fox position (rush end) was one of the key performers for a Marshall defense that ranked in the top 10 nationally in seven categories … Finished with 59 tackles (29 solo) and four pass breakups … Posted two double-figure tackle games – 10 apiece in a season-opening victory over Purdue and a double-overtime win at Kent State … Two sacks in a win over Southern Miss (when he also had 2 forced fumbles, 4 hurries and 2 breakups) and a loss at Middle Tennessee.
R-SOPHOMORE SEASON (2014): Played nine games as backup at Fox (rush end) to senior Arnold Blackmon … Missed five games after suffering injury in win at Old Dominion (Oct. 4), but returned to play in Herd’s final four games … Played 200 snaps on defense … Made 18 tackles (11 solos), including 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks … One pass breakup and one crucial fumble recovery, in the fourth quarter of the Herd’s Conference USA Championship win over Louisiana Tech … His five career sacks rank second among 2015 Herd players (LB D.J. Hunter, 5.5).
R-FRESHMAN SEASON (2013): One of five Herd rookies picked to Conference USA All-Freshman Team … Played 14 games at Fox (rush end), mostly as backup to senior Alex Bazzie … Made one start (at Middle Tennessee) … Made two interceptions in C-USA East Division-clinching win over East Carolina, one for a 5-yard touchdown … Thompson’s pick-to-score was Marshall’s first for a defensive lineman since the late Johnathan Goddard picked off a Ryan Hawk pass and ran it back 23 yards at Ohio’s Peden Stadium for the Herd’s lone touchdown in a 16-13 win in October 2004 … Posted 30 tackles (12 solos), with five for loss and three sacks … Top tackles game was six against Gardner-Webb … Recovered two fumbles … Had seven QB hurries, four pass breakups and a forced fumble.
FRESHMAN SEASON (2012): Redshirted.
HERD FILE: Sept. 30, 1994 … Earning MU degree in Sports Management and Marketing in August 2016; taking second major in Health Science … Enrolled at Marshall in August 2012 … Was two-way starter who led Helix High (13-1) to California Division II state championship in 2011 … Same school produced former Herd running back Travon Van … As a defensive end, he made 55 tackles, including 18 for loss, and had 14 sacks and 23 quarterback hurries. As a tight end, he had 10 catches, including three for touchdowns … Was second team All-State pick (multipurpose player). Caught 72-yard scoring pass in state title game … As Helix senior, had 55 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, 23 QB hurries and 3 forced fumbles.