Shaq Thompson Now A Standout Linebacker At UW

shaq thompsonDrafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 18th round of the 2012 MLB draft, Shaq Thompson, who was then a football commit to University of Washington, decided to try being a multi-sport athlete.

In his senior year, Thompson did play baseball and slashed .305/.379/.644 over the course of 23 games, which does not scream draft prospect. What was impressive however, was that he played that well after not playing organized baseball since the sixth grade. The real reason why Boston drafted him was because of his raw athleticism. Taking home $45k, Thompson agreed to try out pro baseball in the Red Sox organization.
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That summer, he played pro baseball, but he struggled and was unjustly ridiculed. In 13 games for the GCL Red Sox, Thompson registered 39 at-bats, and struck out in almost all of them. Fannning in 37 of his 39 at-bats, Thompson did not record a hit, but he did manage to draw eight walks putting his OBP at .170.

At least Thompson tried the game, but it is clear now he will not be coming back any time soon. He received plenty of negative attention for an 18-year-old playing a game from 50-year-old men who likely could not throw out a decent first pitch before a game.
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Luckily for Thompson, he is a star football player. In three games for the Huskies this year, the now junior has racked up 22 tackles including a sack. In his last game against Illinois, he got a 36-yard pick six and took a fumble 52 yards to the house.

In addition to being one of the top linebackers in the country, Thompson has played some running back as well. Rushing for a 57-yard score in the first game of the year, he has rushed for 82 yards on six carries as one of the few college football players who goes both ways.
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Before the start of the 2014 football season, Thompson was named to SI.com’s preseason All-America second team.

Rookie, Shaq Thompson is Ready for Some Football

shaq thompson

Courtesy of weei.com

I was flipping through WEEI.com, as I do every morning, disconcerted about the Red Sox players on the disabled list. I’m filled with concern over Red Sox injured players and want to know what to expect with the games ahead at Fenway.

Then I come across an article about, Shaq Thompson, a 2012 Red Sox draft pick, who wants to leave our rookie league in Florida to pursue professional football. In my head I hear that record-scratching-to a-halt-sound in my head. What? Why would a rookie outfielder, who the Red Sox gave money, want to walk away from a baseball career, and become a linebacker? No, you read that right.  A guy named Shaq, a baseball player, wants to play football, and he wants to be a linebacker. I wish I had that sense of entitlement. Nah, I don’t think I will go to work today, I would much rather find a lighthouse and write the next great American sports novel.

We have players in the system (and out) that would kill for his rookie spot in Florida. We have guys at all levels of the minors fighting for a chance to get the “big call” to Fenway Park. How ungrateful? What a waste of money? Not only that, who among us wouldn’t want to play our favorite sport for pay? I would love to be on the courts of Wimbledon right now.

Can you imagine putting all this work into becoming a professional athlete and then bailing on it? From what I understand, Thompson had to work pretty hard on his baseball skill set because it was clear he was not going to be the next Deion Sanders. He had to channel his energies into one sport. I suppose there are some of us that would be willing to quit our jobs to see our dream of opening our own business, or moving into an entry level position, but not without some security net.

I get it, but we are talking professional sports. These are tens of thousands of dollar decisions. Sometimes, in the most recent case of Trey Ball, million dollar decisions.  It takes those of us that work middle class jobs a year to amass this amount of money (or less).

Well, Shaq, I wish you nothing but the best whey protein shakes and lots of luck.