Thompson healthy, ready to contribute

Four years ago, Jayme Thompson was in a different place.

He was a consensus four-star prospect committed to Ohio State, a coveted recruit considered the top safety in the Buckeye state. A broken ankle suffered early in Ohio State’s 2013 fall camp pushed Thompson to the background, and by the following spring, he was gone.

Thompson transferred to Iowa Western Community College, where he played the 2014 and 2015 seasons before transferring to Indiana. But much like his first stint in the conference, injuries have prevented Thompson’s Big Ten career from truly getting off the ground.

Tom Allen believes this season might be different.

Allen recently said Thompson is as healthy as he’s been since arriving in Bloomington during the spring of 2016. Entering his final year of eligibility, Thompson is in line to contribute at the hybrid safety spot in 2017.

“We’re hoping to get him to be a critical part of our depth and special teams,” Allen said.

The Indiana coach is optimistic that Thompson will follow through.

This offseason, the two spoke candidly about Thompson’s role and the expectations he carried with him both as a high school recruit and as a JUCO safety. When he committed to IU in July 2015, Thompson was considered the No. 47 overall JUCO prospect in his class and the No. 2 ranked safety.

To date, Thompson has made only one appearance for the Hoosiers, seeing time in the Michigan State game last October.

“This is his last year,” Allen said. “So it’s time to step up and be accounted for. He’s a great young man. Unfortunately, he’s had some legitimate injuries that have always come at a time when it’s hindered his opportunity to get reps. Then he gets behind, so he comes back and he’s trying to fight through all that. Then, other guys have gotten ahead of him.

“But depth is critical, so he will be an important part of our depth. He might have to be the guy. You never know. He’s got the talent to do that.”

Sophomore Marcelino Ball is the projected starter at hybrid safety. Thompson and incoming freshman Bryant Fitzgerald are the projected backups. From what he’s seen behind the scenes, Allen says Thompson is a good, aggressive blitzer who uses his 6-foot-2, 195-pound frame to play physically in the secondary.

“We just gotta keep him healthy and get enough reps to get him ready to play,” Allen said.

5 comments

  1. It will improve IU’s defense to have Thompson playing like his projection said about him coming out of HS. If he gets back to being one of the top Safeties in the country then IU will have the players to play all out knowing their back up can come in for some plays so they can catch a break before going back out again.

  2. Thompson is the perfect picture to visualize the depth needed for B1G success. I hope he gets to play enough this year to shine and earn a chance in an NFL camp.

  3. Recruiting for 2018 has quieted down a bit on the blog. Next couple weeks it would be nice to see preferably a couple 4 stars committed but realistically a couple 3 star recruits added to 2018 class.

  4. Has IU football been jinxed, or is it just a coincidence? It seems like in the last few years, every time IU gets a 4-star recruit, those players suffer any injury that prevents them from contributing on the field. It seems like the highest rated players IU gets are the ones most likely to suffer an injury that prohibits them from playing for IU. Let’s hope Thompson breaks that cycle, stays healthy and gets a lot of playing time this season. I applaud his perseverance and wish him all the best.

  5. Also among the 4 stars a couple got in trouble and some did not stay for 4 full years. Therefore, IU hardly had any 4 stars for full duration when you don’t have that many to begin with. It speaks to IU trying to get the lesser desirable 4 star recruits not because of lack of talent but some of them had issues.

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