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How Mississippi State’s Erroll Thompson will steal SEC headlines

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It takes one who is fearless to lead a defense, as this Bulldog is ready, willing, and able.

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Texas A&M John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

Erroll Thompson is a rare talent with a sky high ceiling, sure to make his name this fall. The Bulldogs have a great one in Thompson, as he is a natural student of the game and has the complete skillset of a modern day linebacker. Mississippi State has been known to produce the best at the position, as Thompson will take the torch from some household names at the next level. Whether it be Benardrick McKinney, Pernell McPhee, K.J. Wright, or Preston Smith, his predecessors have set a high standard, one that Thompson will be sure to match.

Kentucky v Mississippi State Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images

He broke out at the halfway point last season, with an impressive outing at home against Kentucky. Thompson posted eight total tackles, four of which he was responsible for. However, his on field presence alone was enough to turn heads, as Thompson’s energy electrified the crowd. His leadership was on full display, and it was clear that he was not afraid of anything or anyone.

A week later Mississippi State was in College Station to take on Texas A&M. Though Kyle Field is one of the game’s most intimidating atmospheres, Thompson looked more than comfortable, as his stat line shined a bit brighter in the Bulldogs’ 35-14 victory over the Aggies. Thompson was a force with seven total tackles, four solo, and a passed defensed. Versatility is king as it pertains to a formidable linebacker in today’s game, and it was shown

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Texas A&M John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

All four former Bulldogs exhibit elements of versatility on Sundays, and Thompson may see his name on that stage as well. In addition to his versatility, Thompson’s nose for the ball and quick first step are a gift in and of themselves. Though it was only one pass defensed, he plays middle linebacker as if he were a safety.

Thompson’s skillset resembles a combination of Seattle Seahawks’ safety Kam Chancellor and Carolina Panthers’ middle linebacker Thomas Davis Sr. at the college level. Having said that, those two are naturally born leaders. Thompson has yet to show true leadership, but there were flashes in one of college football’s most bitter rivalries.

Though it resulted in a loss, Thompson’s Egg Bowl debut was strong and then some, as he picked the ideal time to shine. Thompson was a force to be reckoned with and made it personal against Ole Miss. He played with an attitude that lifted his team in key moments. Thompson recorded, five total tackles, three solo, 1.5 sacks, and a forced fumble.

Mississippi State v Texas A&M Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Some just have it, plain and simple. With new head coach Joe Moorhead at the helm, Thompson will flourish. He and Moorhead share the same demeanor and hard nosed attitude, paving the way for a successful sophomore campaign. Look for Thompson to start and make the most of it come fall.

Perhaps Thompson’s most desirable gift is an ability to listen and learn. Anyone can simply “just have it”, but only so many have a work ethic and willingness to do better. Thompson’s knowledge will only increase going forward, as he is well aware of the standards that have been set.

Thompson is a complete player and talent and and off the field. His wide-array of skills will light up Stark Vegas and elevate the Bulldogs a level higher. He looks the part and has a Mississippi State mindset that will work wonders at Davis Wade Stadium and beyond. Thompson is a superstar in the making, as he knows what it means to don the maroon and white.