Very rarely in this day and age of recruiting do you see a prospect commit to a school without first visiting that particular campus at least once.
That very rare occasion has happened twice this season for the Florida Gators, but on Thursday JUCO running back commit Mark Thompson (6-2, 230, Dodge City, KS JUCO) was finally able to see the school that he committed to in May.
“It was great, it was definitely a good visit,” Thompson said. “It felt just like home and I can’t wait to be there year round. The visit was everything that I thought it would be and more. I got to hang out with some of the guys and it was great. They had so much more on campus than I thought they had, so it was a successful time.”
When Thompson first arrived on campus on Thursday the first coach he had to speak to was head coach Jim McElwain, who wanted to meet the big running back in person.
“Coach McElwain was just telling me how excited he was that I was there and that I had committed,” he said. “I actually got to meet everyone during the trip and they all made me feel at home and welcomed there. We had some nice talks and he was telling me to be ready to compete when I get here.”
Running backs coach Tim Skipper was the coach who landed Thompson for the Gators last month and he was Thompson’s unofficial tour guide last week.
“I was with Coach Skipper all day on Thursday. He was the one walking me around and introducing me to everyone,” Thompson said. “He was showing me the weight room and then we had a film session. He was showing me a lot of the blocking schemes and just some of those things. I’m excited.”
Now that Thompson has seen and met everyone at Florida the JUCO running back couldn’t be more excited that he’s a Gator and that means he’s shutting down his recruiting process.
“This visit made my commitment even more solid,” Thompson said. “I’ve been trying to make it clear to other coaches that I’m committed to Florida and that nothing is going to change that. I’m only going to take an official to Florida in November after the JUCO season is over.”
Florida will have to wait another six plus months to get Thompson into school, but the running back is doing his part in helping the Gators in the class of 2016.
“I’m still going to graduate in December so that I can enroll at Florida in January,” he said. “I’ve started to do some recruiting of my own for Florida now. I’ve been talking to a few JUCO offensive linemen and just making sure that everyone in the class is on the same page.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Thompson is a solid commit to Florida and I can’t see that changing right now. This visit only helped the Gators out and Florida is getting a good one in Thompson, who should be able to contribute from day one when he arrives in January.