Afternoon at Detroit Crockett

I visited Detroit Crockett High School recently to speak with Coach Steve McGhee and his star linebacker John Thompson. At this early point in the recruiting season, some are mentioning him as one of the state's top prospects. Coach McGhee and John give us the latest on John's recruitment and what the factors will be in his decision.

For those who missed the detailed profile Jim S. put together John Thompson a few months ago, it can be found here.

Many trusted opinions close to the PSL football scene have called John Thompson Detroit's top linebacker. In addition, some have even said he may be the top LB in the state. Upon seeing and speaking to the young man one of my first impressions was that he's another one of those kids that just looks the part. No one would question whether or not this young man is a linebacker. At the same time, I was just as impressed by how articulate and confident he was. The time he and Coach McGhee spent doing this interview is greatly appreciated.

I first spoke to John and then followed that up by chatting alone with Coach McGhee. Below you will find the substantive portions of my conversations with each. Also, be sure to check out what Mackenzie Coach Eric Smith had to say about what type of player John is at the end of the update.

John Thompson

What schools are in your top five at this point?

"Right now I only have a top 4. Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, and Indiana."

Any offers yet?


What are your measureables?

"I'm 6' 1.5", 220 pounds, and I run a 4.6 forty."

Describe yourself as a player.

"Well, I love to hit. That's why many would see me as a great run stopper. I can drop back into coverage too, but the main part of my game is laying hits on people."

Refresh our memories on what your stats were last year.

"I had 152 tackles (98 solo), 2 interceptions, and 8 sacks."

What will be the major factors in your decision?

"For me it will be the depth chart and the education."

What do you want to major in?


Where do you plan on camping this year?

"I'll go to both the Michigan and Michigan State Camps. I'll also be at the Nike camp."

Do you think you'll decide early or take all of your visits?

"I plan on taking all of my visits."

Coach Steve McGhee

Tell us about what type of kid John is on and off of the field. Also, give us your take on what his final decision will be based on.

"I tell everyone that John is a very cerebral player and that he excels at thinking on the run. He's very quick. He's definitely one of those sideline to sideline kids. To top it all off, he's extremely intelligent. If I had to compare him to any player in the pros, I'd compare him to Derrick Brooks. He's that type of player. He isn't the biggest linebacker you'll see, but he uses his speed, athleticism, and intelligence to be an impact player."

"He is also a very good student. His best attribute may be that he's a tremendous leader. It doesn't matter if it's on the field or in the classroom, he leads."

"John is used to being an impact player. I think that if a school told him he could play special teams the first year and then get into the LB rotation the next year, he'd be okay with that. But because he's used to being an impact player, I can't see him being comfortable with sitting behind a couple of guys for years."

"I definitely think he's leaning toward Michigan at this point. If they come through with an offer, I think they'll look very good for him. I spoke with Coach Carr and Coach Campbell and they told me that they would be watching him. They got in on Ed Johnson a little late, but I don't think that will happen with John."

Detroit Mackenzie Coach Eric Smith had this to add when I asked him about John:

"Whoa baby…is that kid a player!! He's a dynamite linebacker! He can really lay the wood on kids. But, he has a complete game. When we played him Crockett, he dropped back into coverage, picked my son off, and then ran the ball back forty yards! I can't say enough about how good a player I think he is. He's definitely a Michigan level kid."

We'll be keeping a close eye on John at the Nike Camp. An impressive performace there could bring a few early offers.

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