The Opening: De'Andre Thompkins Update

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Swansboro (N.C.) High receiver De'Andre Thompkins, who is committed to Penn State, gave an update on whether other schools are talking to him, and what recruits he was speaking with at The Opening.

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Swansboro (N.C.) High receiver De'Andre Thompkins, who is committed to Penn State, knows all about the chatter regarding himself and North Carolina.

And he had some re-assuring comments about whether the Nittany Lions faithful should be concerned about a possible flip?

"Not at all," Thompkins said. "Like I've told Penn State coaches, ‘I'm going to keep my part of the deal concrete. As long as you keep your part of the deal concrete, we've got a great business deal.' "

Thompkins acknowledged he does speak with the UNC staff, but he said it was not about recruiting and it was more done to be cordial.

"They're not really pushing hard," Thompkins said. "They're just letting me know that they're there. I've told them that I'm committed to Penn State, and they respect that. We talk, but it's a respect talk. It's just conversation.

"It's not ‘Come here' or ‘Watch this.' It's more, ‘How are you doing? Good job today? What did you do today?' It's a respect talk."

At The Opening, Thompkins spent part of his time recruiting for Penn State.

He was already friends with fellow Nittany Lions commit Troy Vincent Jr. of Baltimore's The Gilman School, and the duo spent time meeting with Gateway High (Monroeville, Pa.) four-star safety Montae Nicholson, who is considering Penn State.

"Troy and I sat down and had dinner with him," Thompkins said. "We just asked him what was his outlook, and what can we help him with to answer questions and things we can clear up. We told him the facts, basically, of what they expect there, and what he can do if he goes there and the future, beyond football, of what they have there.

"Before we came here, Troy and I were talking all the time. We are best friends. We're going to the best school. But we didn't come here to brag about our school, or push some kids to de-commit and come to our school. We just want to put it in their head that Penn State is a great place and you can come there and make a big chance and influence a lot of people."

Thompkins measured in at 5-foot-11, 176 pounds and he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds. He also finished the shuttle in 4.18 seconds and had a vertical jump of 35 inches.

The three-day event also provided Thompkins, who displayed very good acceleration after the catch, a glimpse of what he needs to improve on.

"Everything," he said with a laugh. "Breaking down my routes better, just the mental part of coming in prepared and not jumping on the field and running. You have to get in the mindset of you're going to win the game and have visual reps. As far as the physical aspect, it's breaking down my routes, getting physical. I'm a short, fast guy but I still need to be physical in some aspects."

It also gave Thompkins an idea what college with be like.

"It's a view to the next level, and what it takes to be a better guy at the next level," he said. "You're playing against guys who you could possibly be playing against later on. You get the feel for how fast the game is going to be. The quarterbacks have a cannon for an arm, so you just get used to it and get experience."

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