Thurmond expected to shine in ’08


Oregon’s Walter Thurmond, a former star at West Covina High School has become one of the top defensive backs in the country.

Walter Thurmond III left West Covina High School a few years ago as one of the top players in Valley. He will return to the Southland later this fall as one of the nation’s best.
The junior cornerback, who is now a key member of the University of Oregon’s ‘Gang Green,’ is considered one of the top defensive backs in the country, and was recently placed on the watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes to the top defensive back in the country.
Expect big things from the former All-Area player, who will return to SoCal when Oregon faces USC at the Coliseum on Oct. 4. Thurmond had a team-high 75 solo tackles in 2007 and returned both a fumble and an interception back for scores. He’s been described as a touchdown waiting to happen.
“He’s a playermaker,” Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said. “He has unbelievable quickness. He’s not the biggest guy. But he’s very physical. He’s a great tackler, and he’s a track athlete in terms of his speed and athleticism.
“But he’s become a mentally tough player, and his involvement with Jairus Byrd and Patrick Chung gives us one of the best secondaries in the nation.”

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