Tyrell Thompson, a 6-foot-4, 300-pounder, is set to resume classes at Trinity Valley next week, with the goal of graduating in May. The three-star arrived at the Athens community college in January and he made an impression on a visiting CU assistant coach during spring practices, leading to an offer from the Buffs.
“Coach [Jim] Jeffcoat came down during our spring ball, he watched the practice and stuff. I’ve kept in contact with him over Twitter and text message,” Thompson told BuffStampede.com about his interactions with CU.
“I want to say mid-May or so the head coach [Mike MacIntyre] down there called me and offered me. He said he could really use me and I’d be a good fit for their program so I’ve really been looking into it.”
Primarily a defensive tackle at the JUCO level and a three-position defender in high school, Thompson is drawing vast interest. His other offers include Oklahoma State, Houston, Bowling Green and Colorado State. The lineman doesn’t plan on rushing a decision on where he’ll suit up at the next level.
“I have quick feet, I’m really fast that’s my strongest point. My feet are good and my hands are strong, powerful hands. My retrace is what helps me out a lot. If someone runs a screen I can go run it down. Doesn’t matter if it’s 20 yards down the field, I’ll still be in the line of pitch to run it down. That’s what I like doing,” Thompson said on his playing style.
Jeffcoat and MacIntyre are pitching early playing time to the 300-pounder. The Buffs conveyed their need for defensive tackles and an immediate opening on the line.
“[Jeffcoat] has said that he feels that I could be a dominate player at the collegiate level, maybe even the NFL. He said I’m a special talent, I’m blessed with size and speed. He said I could really benefit from going to their program and learning from them,” Thompson continued on CU.
“[MacIntyre] said they could really use me, that they’re losing seniors this year. That I could walk in and play instantly and be a big impact to their defensive line.”
Thompson admits he doesn’t know a lot about Colorado. The 2017 hopeful hopes to visit the Centennial State this fall.
“One of my close friends from high school, he’s from Colorado. He’s going up there sometime in August for a visit. He’s been talking to me about it. I believe I’ll be taking more interest in it, he and I are really close,” Thompson said.
Oklahoma State has been on Thompson’s trail since his junior year in high school. The Cowboys are likely to land an official visit from this fall. Thompson was set to attend Houston after prep ball, but grades delayed the Division-1 dream.
“At first I was thinking the Big 12 area, but now after getting all these Pac-12 schools and stuff like that I’ve been looking out of the state. I think it’d be better for me, I’d have to leave my mom that would probably be the hardest part. I’m trying to go somewhere I can play and make an impact,” Thompson continued on what he’s looking for in D-1 schools.
Junior colleges offer young men a shot at redemption in the classroom. Thompson openly speaks of slipping, grade wise, in high school and the difficulty of missing out on D-1 ball.
“It’s been a rough road. When I was in high school, I didn’t take school seriously, that’s why I’m here now,” Thompson said of the junior college life.
“It’s something that taught me how to grow up. I’ve really changed, I have a 3.7 GPA. I’m proud of myself for how much I’ve grown up. It’s only been a year, but I’ve grown up so much academically and athletically, too. … It was hard watching last fall, a lot of my friends played [Division-1] and I was thinking that should be me, but I know God has a plan for me and I’ll get my chances when it’s my time, be ready.”
Alabama, Iowa State and Missouri told the Trinity College product they’d like to see more film before proceeding with recruitment. Thompson is working hard in the offseason on one-on-ones and lots of running. He hopes to take on of his official visits to Boulder to see what the Buffs are all about.
“I feel like from the pictures and stuff I’ve seen [Colorado] is a beautiful place. It’ll be different for me. I like branching out and trying new things,” Thompson said.