If you're looking for a head-hunting defender then you'll be hard pressed to find one better in North Carolina than safety Matt Thompson from Eastern Alamance High School in Mebane. The rising senior has made a living on crushing hits and last year, finished off his junior season with 126 tackles, four forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and two interceptions en route to all-conference and all-area honors.
Thompson checked in at 6-1, 193 pounds and ran a 4.77-second 40-yard dash at the Scout.com combine held a week ago at Duke University. He also posted a respectable 31-inch vertical jump. His potential has drawn serious looks from schools like Michigan, Clemson, NC State, South Carolina and Georgia Tech among others. So far, the Yellow Jackets are the only school to offer although several others, including NC State, appear close.
Although he lines up at safety in high school, most college programs project him at linebacker on the next level.
"Most of the schools are talking to me about outside linebacker," said Thompson. "My brother's real big and I think I'll probably grow into a linebacker."
One aspect of his game that jumps out on film is Thompson's fearless attitude on the field and ability to blow up ball carriers. He told Pack Pride that hitting is something he's loved doing since he first suited up in pee wee football.
"When I went out there for the first time, I just started hitting and it just came to me," he said. "I like to hit. I've had a couple where I would hit someone so hard I'd black out for a minute. I'd go to the sideline and the coach would say ‘you're alright, get back in'".
As for recruiting, Thompson has three schools that have risen to the forefront but NC State appears to hold a solid upper hand, based in part on his family connections to the Wolfpack program.
"NC State, Clemson and Michigan are my top three schools right now," he said. "State's my favorite. My uncle, Ricky Turner, played there in the 90's and my brother goes there. Everyone is a State fan in my family.
"Coach Amato just told me when I'm ready, he's ready. It was like, don't do anything stupid. If anyone offered, they wanted me to call and talk to them before I did anything."
COACH QUOTE: "Matt is a hard-nosed kid. He has a nose for the football. Sometimes he would rather have contact than make a play on the ball. He just likes to hit. We play him at safety, but I think he will be an outside linebacker on the next level because of how physical he is." -- Eastern Alamance head coach John Kirby
Matt Thompson Video 1
Matt Thompson Video 2
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