Cards top recruit visiting

While Louisville swept USF for the Big East title Friday night, the Cardinals top recruit, Germantown (TN) H.S. shortstop Jason Thompson, will be in town this weekend to visit with Dan McDonnell's Big East championship program.

Jason Thompson, an AFLAC All-American (the equivilant of a McDonald's All-American), is considered one of the top three shortstops in the nation. Thompson is viewed as Louisville's star replacement for Chris Dominguez.

As a senior, Thompson, a switch-hitter, hit .406 while striking out only five times. For his efforts, Thompson was named to the AFLAC All-American team. And while Thompson wasn't allowed to play in the all-star game, he still managed a memorable experience.

"We had a really good season but we got knocked out pretty early (in the playoffs). Other than that we had a good season," Thompson said. "I felt like I had a good season. As far as being an AFLAC All-American that's probably the best time I've had in my life.

Jason Thompson was selected
an AFLAC All-America.

"I didn't get to play in the game because of Tennessee state rules but I went out there all week and had a blast," Thompson said. "I was with the best players in the country and I was able to learn from great baseball people that were there."

One of those ‘baseball people' that Thompson had a chance to meet was Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith, a former star with the St. Louis Cardinals.

"I didn't know how he was going to treat us but he was great," Thompson said. "He took every second he could to teach us. I was trying to learn everything I could. I talked to him quite a bit. He said he was out there working and taking extra ground balls every day. He said ‘you've got to make the routine play and let everything else take care of itself."

Thompson could have signed with just about any college baseball program he wanted. In the end, the 6-1, 180-pound middle infielder turned down several SEC powers, including Ole Miss, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky to sign with the Cardinals.

"(Memphis) is definitely SEC country and I could have played in the SEC," Thompson said. "But it was so different at Louisville. Just talking with Coach Mac and Coach Lemonis they have so much energy. What they're doing at that school is amazing, especially with the baseball program. I wanted to be a part of that and help them the best I can."

Thompson is getting heavy interest and pro scouts routinely showed up at his games this season. Thompson figures to hear his name called during the upcoming professional baseball draft and his decision will have a major impact on the UofL baseball program.

"It could end up being an easy decision," Thompson said. "The draft will take care of itself and whatever happens happens. I'm so excited to play at Louisville. Right now the only definite thing is that I'm going to Louisville."

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