Selected All-Conference USA First Team for the 2011 college football season as selected by the league's 12 head football coaches. Defensive end Taylor Thompson had 41 stops, 7.5 for loss, six forced fumbles and a team-high seven sacks in 2011.
Started in all 14 games at defensive end... Named First Team Conference USA... Posted 32 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 4.5 sacks and three QB hurries on the season... Recorded a sack for an 11-yard loss and a pass breakup against UAB... Notched 1.5 sacks against Washington State... Had five tackles against TCU... Recorded a season-high seven tackles at Navy... Notched a sack and three tackles at Tulane... Had two QB hurries and three tackles at UTEP... Posted a sack and four tackles against Marshall.
Named honorable mention All-C-USA by the league's coaches... Started all 13 games... Had 40 tackles and a team-high 5.5 sacks on the year... Had perhaps his biggest play of the season when he sacked UTEP quarterback Trevor Vittatoe to end the final Miner scoring threat and clinch an SMU win and bowl berth... Had a season-high seven tackles at Houston... Blocked a PAT in the UAB win, a block which forced UAB to go for a two-point conversion at the end of the game - a conversion SMU stopped - as the Mustangs snapped a 17-game Conference USA losing streak and a 15-game road losing streak.
Played in nine games, starting the last three... Had 23 tackles on the year... Notched a season-best eight stops at UTEP... Had four-tackle games against Memphis and Southern Miss.
Ranked as the No. 38 tight end in the nation by Rivals.com, No. 37 by Scout.com and No. 41 by ESPN.com... A three-star prospect... A member of Dave Campbell's Super Team and All-Texas High School Team... Chose SMU over Vanderbilt, Colorado State and Oklahoma State... Caught 58 passes for 960 yards and a touchdown as a senior.
- Tight end Taylor Thompson is certainly the biggest gamble in the Titans draft, considering he played defensive end at SMU, having lost his position as a tight end when June Jones came in as head coach in 2008 and installed the run-and-shoot, which doesn't use a tight end. Thompson liked the school and the Mustangs program enough that he switched to defense and not only became an all-conference pick, but had a draftable grade there, had he not switched position, says Titans scout Jon Salge. "This is a player who was above the line as a defensive end prospect," said Salge, who scouts the South Central region that includes the state of Texas for the Titans. "So we knew we were dealing with a premier athlete from the beginning." The Titans, who traded up in round five to select Thompson, believe he has enough athleticism to become a dynamic threat at the position. - The Sports Xchange
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