Chris Thompson earned his scholarship offer to the University of Florida the old-fashioned way, by earning it in a try-out. The Gainesville, FL native attended Friday Night Lights in July to earn an offer to his hometown team, and sure enough, three days later Thompson was offered a scholarship offer by Coach Will Muschamp and committed on the spot.
At Friday Night Lights, Thompson was the most outstanding wide receiver, using his great speed to blow past cornerbacks, run strong routes, and catch almost every ball against some of the top defensive backs in the country.
At 6-foot-0, 170-pounds Thompson may never amount to be a big possession wide receiver while at the University of Florida, but don’t let his 3-star ranking fool you. Yes, Florida signed four other wide receivers in this class, but Thompson could very well be the dark horse of the 2013 receiving class.
Thompson has three great skills on film: speed, vertical jump, and footwork. The most impressive thing on film is his speed. His speed is highlighted multiple times in tape below, especially at the 0:20, 0:50, 1:10 and 3:20 marks. Looking at the tape, you’ll see him burn past two lines of defense, occasionally over running his quarterback’s throw. He is blazing in both acceleration off the line and out of catches, his first 7-10 yards is some of the fastest in the country.
Thompson also displays a good vertical jump — most noticeably at 2:00 and 4:47 in his film. That jump allows the 6-foot-0 wide receiver to play closer to a 6-foot-2 to 6-foot-3 range, which is important when Thompson is used to stretch the field and gain his advantage over the cornerback.
Finally, it is clear that Thompson has great feet. Although Thompson runs a lot of “go-routes” in his film, you can see his ability to cut in back-to-back plays at 2:45 and 3:01. Thompson is agile and changes direction quickly; while also keeping his feet planted to allow for better, more deliberate movement.
Thompson will need to work on his catching, as he has a proclivity to use his body instead of his hands; often a problem for young receivers at the college level. Thompson is also still a bit raw, as he runs upright and is a bit rigid. However, both of these issues can be improved on with the sound coaching of wide receiver coach Joker Phillips and offensive coordinator Brent Pease.
Thompson may need a year or two to become a big contributor, but I see Thompson has a great either “Y” or “Z” receiver, depending on the route.
Chris Thompson Highlight Video