At Arkansas’ practice Tuesday, one man on the sideline stood out more than the rest.
England (Ark.) tight end/defensive end B.J. Thompson’s 6-foot-6, 200-pound frame made him hard to miss during the 20-minute portion of practice open to the media.
He was visiting the Razorbacks on an unofficial visit. It was his first time being on the UA campus.
“It went great,” Thompson said. “I liked all the facilities and all the coaches. The practice… I liked the intensity. It was a pretty good visit.”
While he doesn’t have an offer from Arkansas yet, Thompson said he thinks he’s close to an offer and he’s not stressing out about it because the Razorbacks have offered only four in-state prospects in the 2017 class.
He does, however, have offers from Arkansas State, Army, Cincinnati, Memphis, Tulane, Tulsa and Washington State. The Bearcats and Golden Hurricane are the most recent to jump on board, offering him Thursday.
“At first, the recruiting process wasn’t really going like that; it was going pretty slow,” Thompson said. “All of a sudden Arkansas State came with the first offer and then after that it started pick up. Before I knew it, I had seven offers.”
Arkansas tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. is Thompson’s main recruiter and Thompson said he has enjoyed getting to know the former in-state product turned Razorback quarterback.
“We’ve been talking on Twitter every now and then,” Thompson said. “He’s actually going to be the guest speaker at our athletic banquet coming up next month.
“I think we’re building a pretty good relationship.”
Thompson said Arkansas is looking at him as a tight end and defensive end and that he doesn’t have a preference because he enjoys both positions.
Even with the seven offers and interest from Arkansas, there’s no guarantee that Thompson will play football on the next level.
“Right now I’m just taking it all in and having fun,” Thompson said. “I’m still playing basketball and I’m not even sure football is going to be what I’m playing in college.”
Several smaller schools, such as DII Ouachita Baptist and Arkansas Tech, as well as UAPB, have reached out to him about his talent on the hardwood.
He is also running track for the Lions this spring, competing in the long jump, high jump, triple jump, 200-meter dash, 4x100-meter relay and 110-meter hurdles.
“It definitely keeps me in shape and keeps me on the move, all the jumping and running,” Thompson said. “I think it has a major effect on my athletic ability out there, with whatever sport I’m playing.”