5 Dec 1998: General view of the defense for the Tennessse Volunteers in action during the SEC Championships against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at the Georgia Dome in Athens, Georgia. Tennessee defeated Mississippi St. 24-14.

Former Tennessee All-American LB charged with assault over the weekend


A former Tennessee All-American linebacker Raynoch Thompson was arrested over the weekend for a misdemeanor assault charge. According to the Knoxville-News Sentinel, Thompson has also been charged with disobeying a judge's orders.

The altercation that resulted in Thompson's arrest came after Thompson and his roommate, Francisco Rodriguez, had met with a Knoxville police officer on Friday, according to a warrant.

Rodriguez told the officer that he had allowed Thompson to stay at his house for a few weeks because he had no place to live, but he wanted Thompson to leave. Thompson agreed to leave, according to the warrant.

Per the Knox News, Thompson is accused of punching a roommate in the back of his head, grabbing him by the neck and threatening to kill him in a Kroger parking lot Saturday on Chapman Highway in South Knoxville, according to a warrant. Below is an excerpt from the Knox News' report.


Rodriguez told an officer that on Saturday as he was walking to the Kroger, Thompson came up behind him and assaulted him. Rodriguez said he defended himself with an umbrella, striking Thompson several times before he walked away.

Rodriguez suffered a swollen cheek and abrasions on his knuckles and elbow. Thompson did not show any injuries.

A preliminary hearing for Thompson was set for Aug. 8 in Knox County General Sessions Court.

The former linebacker was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the second round of the 2000 NFL Draft. Thompson played five years with the Cardinals before being released in the 2004 season.

He was suspended in 2003 by the NFL for the final four games of the season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

He was part of UT's 1998 national championship team and was named an All-American in 1999 with 87 tackles, seven for losses and three interceptions.


[H/T: SEC Country]