Written By Alex Compton
Jayme Thompson (Toledo, Ohio)
Weight: 185 lbs
Rankings: 3-star, #3 JUCO Safety (247 Sports)
Exit Brian Knorr, enter Tom Allen. After another season of historically subpar defense, new defensive coordinator Tom Allen has his work cut out for him. Without much time to recruit at Indiana, he will have to turn the defense around using mostly returning players. There are a few new players that figure to help the defense improve, and one of them is Jayme Thompson. A former four-star recruit and Ohio State Buckeye, Thompson transferred and spent last season at Iowa Western Community College after redshirting in his only year at OSU. He chose Indiana over offers from 10 other schools including Iowa State, Miami (FL), and Western Kentucky.
The first thing that stands out when you watch Thompson play is the versatility in his game. He is great in zone coverage over the middle, but was also frequently matched up with receivers in the slot last season. He is also a great tackler and repeatedly showed the ability to step up in the hole and stick opposing ball carriers. His ability to do multiple things well on defense makes him a player that will see a large amount of snaps next to Jonathan Crawford at safety next season. Adding Thompson and getting Chase Dutra healthy again will give IU some solid options at the other safety spot, and it will be interesting to see how new defensive coordinator Tom Allen utilizes Thompson on defense next year.
Coming out of high school, Thompson was recruited heavily by many of the major programs in the Midwest. He enrolled at Ohio State as the 12th best safety in the class, and the 219th best player overall. Last season at Iowa Western, he totaled 85 tackles, 4 pass breakups, and 2 interceptions. As a comparison, Jonathan Crawford had 76 tackles and 4 interceptions last year. Indiana is getting a really solid player in Jayme Thompson, and his play will certainly be counted on to help the defense improve in 2016.