RedHawk Insider caught up with Thompson literally between morning practice and film sessions, as the Griffins prepare for their game against cross district rival Lincoln-Way North HS. The senior leads the defensive backfield for Lincoln-Way East at free safety, after earning All Area honors in 2007 as a linebacker.
Ezra felt his on-campus unofficial visit on August 2nd was what finalized his decision. "As soon as I stepped out of the car, the coaching staff came over and greeted me. They made me feel at home right away," Thompson said. "My mother really liked the campus a lot too." Ezra continued. "She's already told her boss that she'll need every Friday and Saturday off next fall so she can come to our games."
Thompson, who runs a 4.65 40 yard dash and possesses a 33" vertical, selected the RedHawks over offers from Western Michigan, Ball State and Illinois State. He had also been recruited by Illinois, Iowa, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Purdue.
Ezra mentioned the relationship he's established with recruiting coach Mike Bath, a standout quarterback for Miami, was also a key driver in making his decision. "It's really great how Miami has brought back former players into the program," Thompson mentioned.
Thompson is projected to play free safety for the RedHawks and feels similarities in the defense they run at Lincoln-Way East will help him make the transition to college football easier. "I was able to review film with Coach Cooper (Miami's defensive backfield mentor) and felt quite comfortable with Miami's coverages and schemes," Thompson said. "We run a lot of the same schemes at Lincoln-Way East, so I hope that gives me a leg up."
When asked about the biggest adjustment to playing at the collegiate level, Thompson said, "The speed of the game and making the right reads against the offense will be a huge challenge."
When asked about what a future after football looked like, Thompson said, "I'd like to pursue a degree in business management and become a sports agent." He said that, "Sports are my life and I'd like to stay connected to them long after my playing career is over." He reflected for a moment about making the change from living at home to life on a college campus he said, "The biggest adjustment will be getting to used to not having a lot of people to rely upon." It looks like Ezra has all the tangibles to be successful in the classroom at Miami, as he carries a 3.0 GPA and has scored 26 on the ACT.
He'd like to enroll in summer classes upon graduating from high school to get acclimated to college life, classes, and have a chance to train with the team prior to reporting to camp in August.
Lincoln-Way East has started the season 1-0, with a late fourth quarter win over Providence Catholic this past weekend. The Griffins hope to repeat a deep run into the state playoffs again this year, improving on a quarterfinal loss to eventual state champion Naperville North. Ezra said, "We'll have important games against Bolingbrook, Lincoln-Way North and last year's state semi-finalist Homewood-Flossmoor."
RedHawk Insider welcomes Ezra Thompson to the recruiting class of 2009!