Thompson taking advantage of chances at WVU
Published: Friday, April 20, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 20, 2012 09:04
Last October, Jordan Thompson thought he had a pretty good idea of what he was going to be doing in college.
Without any scholarship offers from big-time college football programs — even though he was in the middle of a 1,117 yard, 17 touchdown season at Katy High School – Thompson, who was also an all-district outfielder in baseball, thought America’s pastime was going to be his path for the next four years.
But then he received a phone call that would change everything.
"They called me on my cell phone and I was in the middle of class," he said. "I saw the West Virginia number and I was
wondering who was calling me, so I answered it in class just by being sneaky and then he said, ‘This is Dana Holgorsen from West Virginia.’
"As soon as that happened, I told the teacher and she dismissed me from class."
By the time he visited Morgantown Dec. 9, 2011, Thompson was ready to commit to the school and ended up signing.
In a matter of just two months, Thompson went from planning to play college baseball to committing to West Virginia, and then skipping the final semester of his senior year of high school in order to enroll early to try making an early impact.
The 5-foot-7, 159-pound
receiver didn’t have much trouble getting the school part out of the way. He went into his senior year ahead in his classes and wanted to do whatever he could to make sure he could make good impression in spring practice as a freshman.
"I’ve been doing school and sports for a long time, so it’s been natural to me," Thompson said. "The only big difference is I’m on my own now. I don’t have my mom telling me to make sure to stay on top of my grades.
"I needed to come here early because I was already undersized and I also felt that I needed an edge on the other
recruits that were coming here in the summer, so I needed to get the playbook down, get familiar with the speed of the game and just show what I can do."
It’s that competitive nature, and the feeling that he
always needed to prove himself Thompson has used throughout his entire life.
That mentality has given him the confidence that he’s going to be able to succeed, even if he’s not the biggest player on the field, because he’s going to try to outwork everyone else.
It also helped he had some of the extra motivation that he was under-recruited out of high school.
"West Virginia gave me the opportunity to prove others wrong that doubted me," he said. "I never doubted myself, ever since I was little, because I’ve always been the younger person on the field, always the smallest in all of the sports."
Coming to WVU a semester early has given Thompson a lot of benefits. He’s been able to get adjusted to the life of a student-athlete in college, he’s gotten a head start on grasping the Mountaineer offense and he’s been able to learn under
veteran players of his position like Tavon Austin.
But, most importantly, he’s made his impression on head coach Dana Holgorsen and the rest of the West Virginia
"The last impression is just as big as the first impression," Thompson said. "They want to see you progress and see that you’re consistent.
"I’ve got to go out there and show, not only the coaches but also the fans, what I’m capable of doing. As of right now, I’m still a question mark as if I’m going to redshirt or not, so I’ve just got to give it my all."