April 24, 2010
NEW YORK CITY - Former Cal cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson was selected Saturday by the Denver Broncos in the seventh round (225th overall) on the third and final day of the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Thompson joins Cal teammates defensive lineman Tyson Alualu (Jacksonville, 10th overall) and tailback Jahvid Best (Detroit Lions, 30th overall), who were both selected in the first round on Thursday.
The three players selected in 2010 bring the total of Cal players chosen in the NFL Draft to 32 since Jeff Tedford took over as the Bears' head coach in 2002.
Thompson was a two-time first-team All-Pac-10 selection, earning the honor along with being picked as the team's Most Valuable Defensive Back in each of his final two campaigns. He set a Cal career record by starting all 52 games possible over his four-year with the Golden Bears from 2006-09 as he started all 13 of the team's games at a cornerback spot for four consecutive campaigns. Thompson began his collegiate career as a Sporting News Pac-10 Freshman All-American and team MVP as a rookie in 2006. He finished his career as Cal's all-time leader in pass breakups with 36. Other final career totals included 257 tackles, seven interceptions that he returned for 204 yards, 43 passes defended, 2.0 sacks (-17 yards), 20.0 tackles for loss (-65 yards), one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and 36 punt returns that he brought back for a total of 389 yards, including one that he returned 73 yards for a touchdown vs. Colorado State in 2008.
Thompson also found the end zone against Stanford in the 2006 Big Game when he returned a fumble 15 yards for a touchdown. He recorded a career-high 78 tackles as a sophomore in 2007, while making four of his seven career picks and tying Cal's single-season mark with 18 passes defended in 2008. He also set an all-time Cal single-game record and a Pac-10 season-high for interception return yards in 2008 when he had 108 in a victory at Washington State. One of the interception returns was a 90-yarder that set up a Cal score and was the fifth-longest in school history, as well as the second-longest in the Pac-10 in 2008.
Off the field, he was honored during his 2009 senior campaign as one of 22 national winners of the Academic Momentum Award as part of the Scholar-Baller program, in conjunction with the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS). Thompson was honored for improving his GPA to 2.995 during the spring of 2009 after a period on academic probation following his first year at Cal. He also received the team's 2009 Ken Harvey Award given to the player showing special academic commitment and improvement.
"Syd'Quan is one of the toughest players I have ever coached and the fact that he set a school record by starting all 52 games possible while at Cal proves that toughness," said Tedford. "He relishes the personal battles that cornerbacks engage in with wide receivers on a regular basis during a football game."
Check back on CalBears.com and the Bear Blog to find out if any other former Cal players are selected on the final day of the 2010 NFL Draft on Saturday or sign NFL free agent contracts in the upcoming days.