6-foot, 215 pounds, long dreadlocks and a lot of passion. That is what is easy to notice when watching Donavan Thompson play football, and the nation got a glimpse of it in late August, against a national power in Hoover (Ala.).
The junior linebacker, who mans the middle of his own national power in Miami (Fla.) Central High School, helped the Rockets to a big-time road win against the state champions from Alabama’s highest classification on August 23.
There was plenty of talk, even a racially charged letter sent to Central’s coaching staff, before kickoff. Others said one thing, but the linebacker says that, the game’s location and the sense that Hoover would eventually win the game, all added fuel to the entire team's fire.
“It means that we’re going to do something this year,” Thompson said after the win. “They disrespected us, so we just had to treat it like it was. It was the first game. We felt disrespected. We didn’t come to ‘Bama to lose…
“It wasn’t just the letter, it was everything. Nobody was talking about us.”
Leading the team in tackles and slowing SEC-bound senior Bradrick Shaw to less than 100 yards on a 100-plus degree afternoon had much to do with the motivation and Thompson’s tackling.
“I did my assignments well, I messed up too, but I also made up for them,” he said.
In what shoudn’t surprise many, there is already some recruiting attention headed the instinctive linebacker’s way.
“UM (Miami, Fla.) and USF are talking to me, and I want to hear from Louisville,” Thompson said. “USF offered, that’s all so far. Louisville has two sets of good linebackers, and I want to be a part of it. It’s a dream school.
“I like the cold, and it’s out of Florida. I want to leave the state.”