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April 4, 2013

Tyriq Thompson could follow in father's footsteps

The trend in high school and college football today seems to be sons of famous football fathers following in their dads footsteps to the next level - even if they don't end up at the same school. Deion Sanders (Florida State), and Deion Sanders Jr. (SMU), Barry Sanders (Oklahoma State) and his son Barry Sanders Jr. (Stanford) are just a couple examples.

Recently retired Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and his son, Ray Ray Lewis III, both picked Miami. Son committing to father's alma mater could be a new trend: and Michigan could be the beneficiary.

Sophomore safety Tyriq Thompson is on Michigan's radar in the 2015 class, and has connections to the program. Not only has Detroit King sent recent players like Dennis Norfleet and Ernst Shazor to Ann Arbor, Thompson's father Clarence also headed down I-94 from the Detroit PSL Powerhouse. The younger Thompson recently transferred home to King after playing as a sophomore at Lee's Summit (Mo.) West, and the recruitign process has already started.

"My dad hasn't put any pressure on me to attend Michigan if they offered," said Thompson of his dad's connection to the program. "He just wants me to go wherever I will be successful."

Already standing 6-1, 200-pounds, Thompson projects to the safety position, and his body type is what Michigan likes to see at the position. He is tall and rangy, perfect for the Wolverines' pro-style scheme.

While Michigan is certain to note what he has to offer, he also has taken a liking to U-M.

"Michigan is is my top three, but I won't say where," he said.

He recently got a chance to see the Wolverines in action, jump-starting his recruitment out of Schembechler hall. Spring practice is in full motion in Ann Arbor, and Thompson made his first visit for practices Friday afternoon. He not only saw practice, but also talked with Michigan's head coach and running backs coach.

"The visit went well, as far as the atmosphere and football-wise," Thompson said. "The practices were intense, and I got to talk with current players [sophomore defensive tackle] Ondre Pipkins and [junior cornerback] Raymon Taylor."

"I also spoke with Coach Hoke and Coach Jackson. They basically said they were happy to see me, and that they'd be keeping an eye on me."

Thompson wasn't on campus alone over the weekend. There was a Detroit King flavor to Schembechler Hall during the practice. Of course, sophomore running back Dennis Norfleet participated on the field, but 2014 teammates Jalen Embry and Avonte Maddox were also visitors.

"When I got there, it was like I had already been there for a while," Thompson said. "They welcomed me in, and we went from being just teammates, to being brothers."

Thompson not only happens to attend his father's high school alma mater in Detroit King, but will also wear the same number his dad wore, No.17 this season. Down the road, he may have the opportunity to do the same thing at Michigan.

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