Defensive tackle Josh Thompson says he hopes to get a head start on his future as a Tiger this weekend by getting an inside look at the program, campus and facilities.
"I'll really be just asking academic questions and asking a lot of questions period," Thompson tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "It will be about getting to know some of the players and getting to know the coaches better. It will be fun to be on campus longer, for at least for a day or two, and see other stuff."
Although he took a visit to Atlanta and has been constantly receiving calls from Florida, Thompson says that he's firmly committed to being a Tiger and will try to bring a few more guys from this weekend with him to Auburn in the 2003 signee class.
"Anybody that can come and help the team would be good," Thompson says. "I don't really know a whole lot about the other coaches and the other positions, but as far as my coach goes (Don Dunn), I think the world of him. If the other ones are like that then the players should come just for that."
Leading his team to an 8-3 record in his senior season, a disappointment by Statesboro High standards, Thompson says the season didn't go quite as expected. A rare four-year starter for head coach Buzz Busby at Statesboro, Thompson was the catalyst on a defense that led the way to a perfect 15-0 season and a state title his junior season.
Finishing the season with 56 solo tackles and 44 assists, Thompson beat constant double teams from his nose guard position to total 10 ½ sacks and 20 tackles for loss as well. Despite his 6-1, 294-pound frame, the powerfully strong defender notes that he made a move during the year and that was a tough adjustment for him.
"I went from playing defensive line to linebacker and I didn't have the same coach," Thompson notes. "It was a big change. There was a lot more running involved, but I picked up on it pretty quick. They still played me some at defensive line on passing downs sometimes, but it wasn't a huge change. Changing to linebacker helped me learn some of the other positions. You have to know a lot more at linebacker than you do as a lineman. It just helped me recognize the field a little more and respond a little quicker."
A member of the power lifting team at Statesboro, Thompson says he's busy preparing for a meet to be held in February. Despite not being able to max out in both the bench and squat since the end of the football season he notes that he was doing 440 pounds on the bench and 650 pounds on the squat at the time.