Gator Wildcard Week: Mark Thompson

Every day this week we are going to talk about one of the players on the 2016 Gators that can have a huge impact that hasn’t already done so. We are going to call this the Wildcard because there is a bit of the unknown. Tuesday’s Wildcard is running back Mark Thompson.

How he got to Florida: A track star and receiver in high school, Mark Thompson had to straighten out some things before the big schools would come after him. He took the junior college route at Dodge City (Kansas) Community College where he converted to a running back and cleaned himself up. Jim McElwain and Tim Skipper were the first to get on him as a prospect when they were coaching at Colorado State. That relationship blossomed when they got to Florida. He committed just about this very time a year ago and graduated in January to enroll. A flirtation with Alabama almost resulted in a visit back in December, but that never came to fruition and he stayed true to his commitment and signed with the Gators.

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What has he done at Florida:  Thompson arrived this spring and had a very good one when he media was allowed to watch and according to those that were watching behind closed doors. If there is an issue it would be ball security and he fumbled once in the Orange and Blue Debut. He runs with power and speed and actually showed a bit of wiggle at times during the spring that some (myself included) did not know he had.

http://www.scout.com/player/197280-mark-thompson?s=168&year=2016

Why is he a Wildcard?: It is all about stepping up to the big league now. Jumping from junior college to the SEC is a major step and how will that transition outside of the practice field dynamic.

If he can live up to the billing, at worst he gives the Gators a big time 3-4 man rotation at running back. At best, at least for him, he pushes to start as an upperclassman and provides not only a guy that can hammer at an opposing defense, but also can get outside quickly or catch the ball I space and make plays adding to a growing arsenal of weapons at the disposal of offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier. 


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