Tennessee freshman defensive back Bryce Thompson has been named to the SEC All-Freshman team.
In his freshman campaign, Thompson led the Vols with three interceptions from his cornerback position. He played in all 12 games and started 10 of them, recording 34 tackles, four tackles for a loss, one sack, and a forced fumble. Thompson also deflected 10 passes, which were most by a newcomer in the conference.
The Irmo, South Carolina native also finished the season graded out as the highest-graded true freshman in the country according to Pro Football Focus. Thompson’s selection on the SEC All-Freshman Team marks the 20th consecutive season in which a Tennessee player has been on the team.
Thompson collected multiple honors throughout the course of his first season with Tennessee. He was named SEC Player of the Week following Tennessee’s win over East Tennessee State. Pro Football Focus also placed Thompson on their PFF College SEC Defensive Team of the Week in back-to-back weeks following his contributions against ETSU and UTEP.
Against ETSU, Thompson made his first career start and recorded his first career interception in the game. He also recorded two tackles for a loss. Against UTEP, he forced his first career fumble.
Later on in the season, Thompson picked off Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham, flipping the momentum in the Vols’ upset win. He also recorded an interception against Charlotte. Thompson’s three interceptions on the season are the most by a true freshman for the Vols since Eric Berry recorded five picks in 2007.
Thompson was the latest addition to UT’s 2018 signing class. He originally intended to sign with South Carolina, but he never made it in as part of their class.
The Vols were waiting with open arms, however.
The four-star athlete wound up signing his admission papers to attend UT, and he turned in a strong debut season for the Vols.