Earlier this month, the Huskies’ Shaq Thompson received a letter from the Heisman Trophy Trust naming him a “potential candidate for the Heisman Memorial Trophy.”
He was one of 25 players nationally to receive the letter. USC running back Buck Allen also received a letter, which you can read here.
Thompson started to generate some Heisman buzz last month after scoring his fourth defensive touchdown of the season. That’s the most by a player in college football over the past decade, according to ESPN research.
Since then, the junior linebacker spent three games as UW’s primary running back, and he’s rushed for 456 yards this season. His average of 7.5 yards per carry is the best in the Pac-12.
Against Arizona on Saturday, he returned to his preferred starting spot at linebacker and had one fumble recovery, his fourth of the season, tied for the national lead.
“When he’s out there, he’s going to make plays,” UW defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski said Tuesday. “He’s going to be around the ball and he brings great energy. … Shaq being Shaq, he’s just a great guy. He’s got that great energy, a great personality (that) guys sort of gravitate to and like to be around.”
On Tuesday, Pat Forde, a national college football writer for Yahoo Sports, listed Thompson as one of his “other” Heisman candidates. Forde wrote:
“The Washington linebacker/running back has the most unique stat line in the nation, and it’s not close: 456 rushing yards, averaging 7.5 yards per carry; six touchdowns – four defensively on returns of fumbles or interceptions, two on offense; 60 total tackles; three passes broken up; and one sack. After playing the previous three games solely at running back, Thompson was back on defense Saturday against Arizona, where he had three solo tackles and a fumble recovery.”