Washington's Shaq Thompson intends to enter 2015 NFL Draft

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Washington two-way star Shaq Thompson announces his intent to apply for early entry into the 2015 NFL Draft.

The Huskies' star linebacker, who also was featured as a part-time running back, projects best on the defensive side of the ball at the next level.

"After careful prayer and consideration and speaking with my family and Coach Petersen at great lengths, I have decided to declare for the 2015 NFL Draft," Thompson said, according to a release by the school. "This was not an easy decision for me, I love the University of Washington, and everything the U-Dub community has done for me these past three years."

Thompson (6-1, 228 pounds) scored four defensive touchdowns for UW this season, making 81 tackles with an interception, four fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and four pass breakups. As a rusher, he picked up 463 yards on just 61 carries in part-time duty for a team-best average of 7.5 yards per carry.

Thompson's ability to play pass coverage on defense is outstanding, an attribute that could help separate him from other linebacker prospects in the draft. In fact, he spent his freshman season as a starting nickelback for the Huskies.

"Shaq Thompson has been a wonderful representative of the University of Washington and the Husky football team, and he has our full support as he takes this important step," said UW coach Chris Petersen. "I look forward to what's to come for him and to watching him embark on what will be a long, successful NFL career."

Thompson won the Paul Hornung Award as the nation's most versatile player and was a semifinalist for the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread.*

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