San Diego State Football: Tariq Thompson Is MWwire's 2020 Preseason Defensive Player Of The Year

San Diego State Football: Tariq Thompson Is MWwire's 2020 Preseason Defensive Player Of The Year

Mountain West Football

San Diego State Football: Tariq Thompson Is MWwire's 2020 Preseason Defensive Player Of The Year

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San Diego State Football: Tariq Thompson Is MWwire’s 2020 Preseason Defensive Player Of The Year


San Diego State’s standout safety finally gets his due as our preseason pick to be Mountain West football’s best defender in 2020.


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Flying under the radar no longer.

It takes a lot to go down as one of the best defenders in San Diego State Aztecs history, but three years’ worth of production has put Tariq Thompson firmly in that conversation. 2020 could be his best year yet, which is why he is our staff’s pick as the Mountain West’s preseason defender of the year, and that’s really saying something.

Thompson was as reliable as ever for what might have been Rocky Long’s best defense ever, finishing 2019 with 55 total tackles, two forced fumbles, three tackles for loss, and four interceptions to go along with a career-best 12 passes defended. Incredibly, he was still named to the conference media’s all-Mountain West second team for the third time in a row, though Pro Football Focus placed him on their first-team roster.

He enters 2020 as the most seasoned hand on a reloading defense, but that doesn’t make him any less dangerous. Opposing quarterbacks, beware.

Also received votes: Keshawn Banks, San Diego State; Solomon Byrd, Wyoming; Kekaula Kaniho, Boise State; Dom Peterson, Nevada; Justin Rice, Fresno State

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