Thompson is Recruiting the Competition

In a time when many players are worried about the depth chart and just how many times they might get the ball or be called on to try and make a play, Colin Thompson is not only inviting that competition, but trying to recruit to play alongside him. Charlie Weis loves to use multiple tight ends in his offense and Thompson played a big part in luring Kent Taylor into the fold with the Gators.

From powerhouse Archbishop Wood in Warminster (PA), Colin Thompson went public with his commitment for Florida way back in May. The 6-5, 260 pounder is exactly what Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis envisions in a tight end. Ranked second in the nation according to, Thompson has all the tools to be an elite one.

"Thompson is a complete tight end who can block inline and also be a vertical threat in the passing game," recruiting analyst Bob Lichtenfels writes in Thompson's bio. "He is deceptively quick for a player of his size and a match-up nightmare for opposing teams. He runs good routes and shows tremendous ball skills."

With a change in offensive philosophy at Florida to go along with the new coaching staff, Thompson understands he won't be able to do it all. One of the reasons he chose Florida is because of the scheme and the fact they will use multiple tight ends with maybe slightly different skill sets.

With that in mind, Thompson couldn't help but want to play next to or on the opposite side of the line with the nation's number one tight end Kent Taylor. Thompson has been talking and trying to recruit Taylor for longer than many might believe.

"I have been talking to Kent since January," Thompson said. "I met him at the Army All-American tryout. I just kind of connected with him right away. He knew who I was right away and we started talking. Ever since that day I thought about playing on the same team."

For those counting, that is four months before Thompson decided to become a Gator and make it public. He was trying to recruit Taylor to whatever school he decided on, even before knowing.

Thompson has a lot of respect for the newest Gator commitment and knows they may very well complement each other on the field.

"I don't know what he weighs, but I am about 260 and he is probably a little bit lighter," Thompson said of Taylor. "I think he is a great athlete and a great guy. He runs great routes and a great receiver. He does well in blocking which I think people underrate him. He runs like an exceptional athlete and has great hands. He is going to be a hell of a tight end."

He can even envision how they might use the two skill sets the top two tight ends in America might throw at teams.

"I think they are going to use us like any other team uses a two tight end set," he said. "We both have size and so we will both be threats in the red zone. We are both big guys so we can create mismatches in blocking and things like that. Maybe some shallow and deep routes and things like that. I am sure they will have clever plays ready for us."

With the recent departure of tight end Gerald Christian, the position becomes even more important in this recruiting cycle. Christian left because of lack of playing time and Thompson understands that sometimes there are reasons out of anyone's control for those things to happen. He also knows nothing will be given to him.

"I know that you have to earn a spot and they will give everyone a fair chance," he said. "No matter if you are the number one tight end in the country or the number 20 tight end in the country you have to earn the respect of your teammates, your coaches and do your thing."

Anyone thinking that Thompson is done recruiting for these Gators is wrong. As a matter of fact, it might surprise you who his next big target is on the recruiting trail.

"I'm thinking about Kurt Freitag, they told me they are taking three," Thompson said of the tight end position and the 6-4, 237 pound TE from Buford (GA). "I am fine with that. I am looking forward to competing with these guys."

I am also talking to (5-star DE) Noah Spence, we are both going to play in the Under Armour game and we have something to talk about there."

Thompson plays his games on Saturdays and so watching Florida football hasn't exactly been easy. He has seen their issues I the last few weeks and understands some of the issues these Gators are going through but not all.

"It's tough to tell," he said. "You look at it and see maybe it's the offensive line, maybe it's the tight ends, or receivers. Obviously they ran the spread last year and ran it since Urban Meyer was there. When you make that transformation you use different personnel. I can't pinpoint one thing.

"I think they've done a great job of bringing in the right people (in recruiting) to fit that personnel so far this year. I think they will turn it around. I think they have a very positive attitude down there. I talked to Coach Lewis and they are going to be fine."

And they will probably as for Thompson's help to get more of the right pieces on board.

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