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Instant analysis on Stefon Thompson commiting to Nebraska football



. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska football was able to land a veteran linebacker from the transfer portal on Thursday. Stefon Thompson reunited with old defensive coordinator Tony White, to give the Huskers their fifth transfer portal commitment in the 2024 class.

Thompson is coming off a season that saw him record 52 tackles including four tackles for a loss. Now, he will get a chance to make an impact for Nebraska football program that desperately needed depth at the linebacker position.

More so than just depth, Nebraska football was able to land another target on their board. This has been an incredible week in terms of landing transfers out of the portal, and the success continued with Thompson.

Here are some thoughts in regards to Thompson’s commitment as the 2024 recruiting class continues to grow.

Thompson brings a veteran presence to Nebraska football

Thompson adds a veteran linebacker to a Nebraska football room that was desperately needing one. Nebraska lost Luke Reimer and Nick Heinrich following the 2023 season, and they needed someone who could step up and fill that veteran void. Thompson will be able to do that.

When you look at his career at Syracuse, he has been extremely productive. He recorded 171 total tackles in four seasons at Syracuse, including 79 tackles in 2021. Thompson is a productive player who has had some solid seasons at Syracuse. Now, he will reunite with his former defensive coordinator in Tony White.

Nebraska needed depth at the linebacker position, and they were able to get it with Thompson’s commitment.

Nebraska football gets a pass-rusher in Thompson

Thompson also gives Nebraska a pass-rusher defensively.  He fits the Nebraska football defense nicely in that regard, as White’s scheme is very aggressive. Thompson’s game certainly feeds into that.

He recorded 5.5 sacks in 2021, a career-high at Syracuse. It was evident he was going to make an impact early on, as he recorded 3.3 sacks as a freshman in 2020. Thompson is able to come off the end with ease, and he is able to seal the edge when the ballcarrier is bouncing to the outside. That type of aggressive play off the edge bodes well in terms of rushing the passer. He can get into the backfield quickly.

We saw the Nebraska for the linebackers be able to play aggressively in White’s defense last season . The word ‘positionless’ was used multiple times throughout the course of the spring, and it showed on the field. Thompson’s skill set fits well with a positionless defense. That pass-rushing element will undoubtedly be utilized and sought after within this defense.

Thompson can make an instant impact at several positions

Thompson could immediately slide into the Mike or Jack linebacker roles. The Mike role was held by Reimer last season, who played the position aggressively. The Jack position was held by Mikai Gbayor, who did an admirable job last season, and his first full year of action.

Thompson has more experience under his belt defensively, and could be a candidate to take over at either position. That positional flexibility will be a bonus for a defensive unit that ranked 11th in total defense last year with 303.5 yards allowed per game.

His familiarity with the White and his defense scheme, as well as his skill set give him the chance to make an impact relatively quickly. It will be interesting to see exactly where he lines up for Nebraska football, as he can also slide out to the edge rusher position before the snap.

Danny is a Nebraska athletics fan and writer. He also enjoys writing about recruiting in his free time. Danny has been following the Huskers for the last five years. Find him on Twitter @NebCornholio.