During the 2015 season, it was hard to find many Colorado Buffaloes who played better than Tedric Thompson.
It would be difficult to find many more disappointed in that season, though.
“I think I’m my toughest critic, so I always feel like I can improve on something,” Thompson said.
Now a senior safety for the Buffs, Thompson is determined to make this next season a better one for himself and the team. CU recently completed spring practices, and Thompson was pleased with the progress made as a defense.
“I think it went good,” he said. “I think we kind of picked up where we were last year. We just have to fix a couple things going into camp.”
As a team, the Buffs still need to improve their tackling, Thompson said. In watching film of his season, though, Thompson saw something else in himself that he didn’t like.
“I was horrible in man coverage last year,” he said. “That’s something I went back after the Utah game and I watched the rest of the film and I saw I was pretty bad in man coverage.”
Overall, Thompson had good numbers, with 80 tackles, nine pass breakups and three interceptions. Yet, since the end of last season, he has turned to a couple of his teammates to help him improve in coverage.
“I always talk to (Chidobe Awuzie) because I think that’s our best coverage defensive back,” Thompson said.
Awuzie may be CU’s best all-around player and has NFL-caliber cover skills. A fellow senior, Awuzie gave Thompson several tips to improve his cover skills.
Perhaps nothing helped Thompson more, however, than going against talented receiver Devin Ross. A junior, Ross was one of the stars in spring camp.
“Every single practice during one-on-ones, I always go against Devin Ross,” Thompson said. “I think that’s one of the best receivers in the Pac-12. I guard a lot of slots and I think he can be the best slot in the Pac-12. Going against Devin Ross really helped me out a lot.”
Thanks to the help he got from Awuzie and Ross, Thompson felt good about his game coming out of spring, but, as usual, feels he’s got more to give.
“I think it went all right, but there’s some things I still have to work on,” he said.
More than anything, Thompson believes this summer will be important for his development in the weight room. He’s already got good size at 6-foot, 205 pounds, but would like to get stronger, which would help his tackling.
While Thompson still believes he’s got plenty of room in which to grow, he’s eager to continue his development over the summer and make this next season a good one.
“I’m just looking forward to fall now,” he said.
Through May 31 is an evaluation period for coaches, and that has CU’s staff spread out across the west on recruiting trips this week. CU tweeted that six assistants — co-offensive coordinators Darrin Chiaverini and Brian Lindgren, running backs coach Darian Hagan, offensive line coach Klayton Adams, safeties coach Joe Tumpkin and corner backs coach Charles Clark — were in California on Wednesday. Defensive line coach Jim Jeffcoat was in Dallas and defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt was in Utah.
Brian Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.