Syracuse Football: Tale of the tape on talented LB Stefon Thompson

(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

The Syracuse football squad has added to their linebacker room. Our recruiting analyst broke down the tale of the tape here on Stefon Thompson.

Syracuse football just wrapped up a huge recruiting weekend. The Orange had eight 2020 prospects on campus.

However, the first commit of the weekend came from Stefon Thompson, who was on campus the weekend prior.

Thompson is a linebacker from Charlotte, North Carolina. According to, Thompson was primarily recruited by Syracuse ends coach Steve Stanard.

At 6-foot and 222-pounds, Thompson is just about as college ready for a linebacker as they come. Size wise, he fits the mold for an ACC linebacker. The scary thing is, Thompson will only get stronger and faster once he enrolls in the Syracuse strength and conditioning program.

In addition to the Syracuse offer, Thompson hauled in scholarships from Appalachian State, Colorado State, Marshall, and Wisconsin. He is a 3-star prospect and is listed as the 74th best Inside linebacker and 77th best player in North Carolina by 247 Sports.

He announced his commitment to Syracuse via Twitter:

Based off of the picture above, Thompson looks like a linebacker. He has that intimidating look similar to Mike Singletary.

Let’s see if his game resembles Singletary:

When you are a linebacker at Syracuse you have to cover running backs and tight ends. Last season, Kielan Whitner excelled in that role for the Orange.

At the :46 mark of the tape, Thompson shows that he too could excel at that. He is covering a tight end working out of the slot. Thompson does a good job of keeping his eye on the quarterback while keeping his man in front of him. The Carolina native shows off great agility on the play, stopping on a dime and attacking the football. He gets a hand on it, knocking down the ball.

At the 1:33 mark, Thompson shows off his skill at the line of scrimmage. The tight end is assigned to blocking him on the play, but that doesn’t happen at all. Thompson completely blows up the play, as they call a toss run play to his side of the field. He is being held by the tight end blatantly, and still fights him off with one arm, using his other arm to make a nice open field tackle on the running back. Very impressive play and a flag should have been thrown.

Thompson also has good natural linebacker skills. At the 2:43 mark of the film, he’s in his natural position at middle linebacker.

Here, he is assigned to watch for the run, and it comes. He keeps his eyes in the backfield on the ball carrier the entire time. Thompson does well to not get swallowed up at the line of scrimmage, keeping his distance, and waiting for the running back to hit the hole. As soon as that happens, Thompson makes a nice one-on-one tackle, laying a good hit on the ball carrier.

The last tool a great linebacker has is the ability to rush the passer. At the 3:12 mark, Thompson is lined up on the line of scrimmage. He is the unblocked man, who comes screaming into the backfield. However, he has to stop and react quickly after the play initially looked to be going to the other side of the field. Thompson must keep contain, which he does sacking the quarterback for a loss.

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Although this kid doesn’t have a ton of Power Five offers, he still has an impressive highlight tape. Thompson is the first true linebacker to commit to Syracuse in 2020. However, “athlete” Justin Barron could wind up there too.