On Thursdays over the summer, The Juice Online is going to highlight individual players on the 2015 Syracuse football team. This week, we’re profiling defensive lineman Ron Thompson.
Syracuse will need to restock the shelves on defense in the fall, with just three returning defensive starters. The defensive line is no exception with the departures of ends Robert Welsh and Micah Robinson.
The good news for SU is that Ron Thompson seems more than ready to fill one of those vacancies.
Thompson was especially sharp in SU’s spring game, collecting a team-high three sacks, while showing speed off the edge against the Orange’s first-team offensive unit.
“It felt good to get the rush off,” Thompson said after the spring game. “But I’ve been going up against them all year, all spring, so it felt like just another practice to me.”
Thompson was used more on the interior line last season, but this spring, he’s been used solely as a defensive end (which is his more natural position). Thompson will likely pair with fellow DE Donnie Simmons on the outside. Simmons finished with a pair of sacks, and the duo accounted for all of Syracuse’s sacks in the game. The pair also had six tackles for loss.
“I think our biggest goal for Ron right now is for him to just focus on Ron and doing a good job of controlling the things he’s working on,” Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer said. “He played on the inside and the outside, so playing on the edge all spring has been really good for him. He’s had an opportunity to master his craft at that position but he’s done a good job.”
Inside slant: Thompson hasn’t been officially named a starter yet, but it’s hard to imagine anyone beating him out for the job, especially after an impressive spring game. As Shafer said, an entire spring of focusing on one defensive line position should work out well for him.
- Birthdate: August 1993
- Hometown: Southfield, Michigan
- High School: Southfield High School
- Position: Defensive end
- Class: Junior
- Height: 6’3″
- Weight: 255 lbs
Career highlights: Thompson appeared in all 12 of SU’s games last season and recorded 32 tackles including seven for loss. Against Boston College, he had five tackles, one pass break-up and a forced fumble.