Better Know a Buckeye: Dylan Thompson

By Vico on March 13, 2014 at 11:30a
Dylan Thompson needs to see a vet, because his pythons are SICK. Oh, there's the door? Got it. All right. Sorry, I let you down, guys. :-(
20 Comments

Eleven Warriors' football offseason coverage continues today with the fifth installment of the sixth edition of the Better Know a Buckeye series. The subject of this profile is Dylan Thompson, a defensive lineman prospect from Lombard, Illinois. 

Thompson, like so many of his future teammates, comes to Ohio State with considerable accolades, but little fanfare. This is a recurring theme for an Ohio State recruiting class ranked as third best in the country and the consensus best in the Big Ten, but one with few recognizable names. It is a recruiting class rich in four-star prospects but light on "stars". Thompson, who looks to be a solid contributor to Ohio State's defensive line rotation for the next couple years, should fit this pattern well.

Thompson did not have much of a recruitment to note, though I will retell it briefly here and what led to his commitment to Ohio State on March 23, 2013. Thereafter, I give an assessment of strengths and areas for improvement for Thompson as he looks to the beginning of his Ohio State football career. This leads to a projection of a redshirt in 2014. I conclude with some miscellaneous things about Thompson you may find interesting.

Height: 6-5
Weight: 270
High School: Montini Catholic High School; Lombard, IL

His Recruitment

Thompson's recruitment was not that much different from one I have retold previously somewhere else. In fact, his recruitment may have consisted of approximately three separate incidents leading to his commitment in March 2013.

Thompson comes from a thriving high school football scene in Chicagoland, one that has increased in visibility in the past few years. Further, his high school program has emerged as a powerhouse in the Land of Lincoln, winning state championships in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Long story short, Thompson was going to get attention from college football programs, certainly from programs in the Midwest. At the end of his junior season, he was hearing from programs like Iowa and Wisconsin.

It started as Thompson made his way around the Core 6, which is the preeminent training and recruiting showcase for recruits in the Chicagoland area. A showing in a Core 6 event in January 2013 led to some long awaited movement on the scholarship front. Shortly after this event, Illinois extended a scholarship offer. The offer came when Thompson attended Illinois' Junior Day festivities on the weekend of January 26-27. Tim Beckman pulled Thompson aside to let him know he had his first scholarship offer. For that reason alone, the offer from Illinois was huge for Thompson. He also suspected it would open the doors for him in a big way.

Those comments from Thompson were prescient. After Indiana extended a scholarship next, the third scholarship offer was from Ohio State two weeks later.

Thompson described the offer as exciting. He got a message in his inbox the morning of a school day to call Urban Meyer. It dawned him a few minutes later that he might get an offer, and one from a marquee program headed by a nationally recognizable head coach who just concluded an undefeated debut at Ohio State. Meyer, and his would-be future position coach and regional recruiter, Mike Vrabel, informed Thompson he would be high priority in their 2014 recruiting class.

The offers accumulated from there. Before he committed, he acquired offers from places like Arkansas, Clemson, Iowa, Missouri, Ole Miss, Purdue, and Syracuse, among others.

Thompson intended to take official visits and make a Signing Day decision. He was even taking some unofficial visits, including to places like Michigan State. However, he took an unofficial visit to Ohio State in March of that year and liked what he saw too much to continue his recruitment any further.

His Commitment

On March 23, 2013, Dylan Thompson became the fifth member of Ohio State's 2014 recruiting class.

This was a bit surprising, given an earlier statement that he wanted to wait until Signing Day. However, in an interview with Eleven Warriors, he did mention that timetable could be shortened if he found the right fit.

In an interview with an Illinois prep football affiliate, Thompson was effusive in praise for his experience at Ohio State. Citing every detail of the academic and athletic experience, Ohio State just felt like the natural pick. He said he knew right away.

Where He Excels

Thompson is a tough evaluation for a variety of reasons. For one, I know what Mike Vrabel saw in him, in particular, but his new position coach, Larry Johnson, is unorthodox and may see something else. Second, most recruiting services list him as a future strongside defensive end. This makes sense, given a 6-5, 270-pound frame. Still, there are a lot of drum beats that a three-technique defensive end may be more appropriate for Thompson.

I remember encountering this same problem with Joey Bosa and John Simon, for which comparisons by analogy should not be made because that is not fair to the incoming Thompson. Bosa was listed as a strongside defensive end by all recruiting services with the same drum beats that a three-technique defensive end may be a better fit. Bosa did move inside and out this season, though strongside defensive end looks to be his main position.

Similarly, John Simon was listed by all recruiting services as a future defensive tackle (if he played defense at all). He later debuted for Ohio State as a weakside defensive end and thrived in this position for his four years at Ohio State.

"I don't know" is not very satisfying for the Buckeye fan who wants firm answers, but I would be conjecturing. I think I was right (or will be right) regarding my assessment of Bosa. I was way off on Simon, though I did think he would do well (albeit as a defensive tackle).

With that uncertainty in mind, Thompson grades very well in the strength department. The statistics I have seen for him as a junior mention a squat of 585 pounds. I have also seen a bench of 405 pounds, though I do not know how many reps that is. The squat is more useful since that is where power is derive off the snap.

Further, all reports of Thompson speak well of his playing through the proverbial "whistle".

Must Work On

The big question right now concerns whether Thompson is a strongside defensive end or a defensive tackle. The indicator for this may be Thompson's lateral agility and his ability to get sideline to sideline. If that is not what Larry Johnson wants from the position, Thompson will slide inside.

Further, I think I see a bad tendency to get upright at the snap. Thompson can punch offensive tackles off him at the high school level, but that will not work to the same degree at the college level, even against programs like Illinois and Purdue.

Finally, I am curious how high Thompson's ceiling is. I think he can be a solid contributor, even a first team all-conference performer as an upperclassmen. What type of immediate effect does he have on a rotation that Urban Meyer, admirably, keeps crowded by design? This is the question I am asking myself.

Redshirt

Likely. My understanding is Larry Johnson has an inclination toward the redshirt as a general player development tool. Even then, that defensive line rotation is crowded and just about everyone returns. I think that leads to a redshirt for Thompson in 2014.

Highlights

Junior year is best we can do.

Miscellany

  • Montini Catholic's run of consecutive Class 5A state championships came to an end in Thompson's senior season in which an undefeated season was spoiled in the state championship game with a loss to Joliet Caholic.
  • Garrett Goebel, a solid contributor as a redshirt senior at Ohio State, came from the same program.
  • 11W Community Interview.
  • Named Lineman of the Year for his conference as a senior.
  • He was invited to The Opening, along with Dante Booker, Jamarco Jones, Jalyn Holmes, Damon Webb, Kyle Berger, Marcelys Jones, Parris Campbell, Terry McLaurin, Sam Hubbard, Kyle Trout, Stephen Collier, Sean Nuernberger, Raekwon McMillan, Curtis Samuel, Marshon Lattimore, Johnnie Dixon, and Noah Brown. However, he did not participate after suffering a foot injury before arrival.
  • Basically, all but five members of Ohio State's recruiting class was at The Opening, unless I missed someone. Jeez. Even the kicker was there.
  • High school teammate, Mike Maduko, will join him at Ohio State as a walk-on.
  • Along with Brady Taylor, he represented Ohio State in the International Bowl. The U.S. team beat Canada, 43-7.
20 Comments

Comments

route4buckeye's picture
+3 HS
Nappy's picture

He spits hot fire

Fan of bacon since 1981

+9 HS
Poison nuts's picture

Dī-lon!

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

whobdis's picture

In reviewing some of the video's after signing day..Dylan may have suprised me the most. He's a big kid..looks older than he is. There was a photo with him sitting with teammates and he looks like a man amoung boys. I see guys like this and I tend think of someone who will consume the line of scrimmage allowing lb's to make plays. But he's not that imo..he has pretty good quickness for his size and a good nose for the ball. Some guys like this just barrel in and start looking for the ball. He seems to know where it's going and what pursuit angle to take early on.

 

+1 HS
BKshepherd's picture

Dylan looks like he could be Fickell's son.  

+1 HS
rekrul's picture

I thought the same thing!

Out Work, Out Think, Out Play!!!

rekrul's picture

Double post.

Out Work, Out Think, Out Play!!!

zhamilton05's picture

Kid wraps ballcarriers up and swallows them alive. There's always a place for that in a d-line rotation. If he has the mobility to contain runners outside the tackles, then Thompson might get a shot at replacing Bosa in 2016. [Tries to project OSU defensive line in 3 years...fails...shrugs...trusts Meyer and LJ]

+2 HS
NitroBuck's picture

Not to be a smart ass, but is Joliet Caholic related to Al?

Ferio, tego

+2 HS
Zimmy07's picture

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

- Oh, wait.  ThompSON.  My bad.

Squirrel Master's picture

couldn't help it!

)

 

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

+1 HS
seafus26's picture

Kid looks like he has a frame to grow into, good motor but hard to tell about athleticism and speed in those videos due to competition. Doesn't appear to be much speed in the Chicago land HS ball by looks of that vid.

Go Bucks and michigan STILL SUCKS!

teddyballgame's picture

Obviously nothing is set in stone, but he's getting up there.  Thinks DT.

+2 HS
Johnny-Shane_Utah-Falco's picture

Wow, dude looks a lot older and bigger than a high school student.

Can't wait to see him maul some scUM linemen!

CaliforniaBuckeye's picture

I have a really good feeling about this guy. Good size, good motor, perfect fit. 

"The only way we'd get beaten was if we got a little fat-headed, if we didn't train right, if we had dissension on the squad." - Woody Hayes

BME_Buckeye's picture

Favorite buckeye player not even on the field.  He's gonna be a great contributor for the team in the future. 

Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see.

 

Shangheyed's picture

If D-line doesn't work out at 6 ft 5 inch, quickness, good punch and amazing strength he would also look good on the O-line(adding 25-30lbs, which he will most likely do anyway at D-line).

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Good lord his arms are bigger than my thighs.  Hope he has a great career and does well academically and on and off the field.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Great guy from a great family - a common denominator amongst the 2014 recruiting class.

m5987usus's picture

So excited for him to be a part of this class

O-H!