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Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Burnt Orange Breakdown: Mykkele Thompson

By Carter Strickland

During the summer, HornsNation will analyze each of the scholarship players on the Texas roster -- excluding the Longhorns' 2013 recruiting class -- in our Burnt Orange Breakdown series. Starting with No. 1 Mike Davis, we will go through the roster numerically, finishing with No. 99 Desmond Jackson.

No. 2 Mykkele Thompson
Junior safety


Expectations for 2013: Thompson is angling for the starting safety position alongside Adrian Phillips. But Texas does have a few options there and could go with Thompson as the backup. After coming off a horrific sophomore season, Thompson did have a better spring and is starting to pick the correct angles as well as bring players to the ground. Thompson should edge out Josh Turner for the starting role but how long he stays there will depend on how aggressive and successful he can be in tackling.

Best-case scenario in 2013: Thompson starts to tackle. This converted quarterback did not hit or tackle with the enthusiasm or ferocity necessary in 2012. The belief among the coaches is that since he has been on defense for two years now, Thompson’s reluctance to avoid contact has been rubbed out of him. If that’s true then Texas could have a very solid safety on its hands. Thompson runs extremely well and has good ball skills. All he lacks is consistency in tackling.

Worst-case scenario in 2013: A repeat of 2012. If Thompson is unable to tackle then Texas will have to go to Josh Turner. The problem with that is Turner had issues with tackling last season as well. If both players have issues then freshman Adrian Colbert would get the nod. Texas does not want to have a freshman playing every down at the safety spot.

Future impact: Thompson is a skilled player who needs to overcome his shyness when it comes to making contact with offensive ball carriers. If that is accomplished he should be a starter for his junior and senior years.