Jamie Thompson Q&A

When OSU fans talk about players who are going to have to come up big this season for the Cowboys they talk about either Donovan Woods or Bobby Reid. Maybe Mike Hamilton, Julius Crosslin or Calvin Roberts. But if the Cowboys are going to make some noise in 2005 it's going to have to be because of the play of senior Jamie Thompson, a second-team All-Big 12 selection by the media last season.

Thompson, who lead the team with 85 tackles in 2004, must step up following the unexpected death of Vernon Grant last spring and the recent dismissal from the team of starting free safety Thomas Wright. Thompson will be counted on for leadership in a secondary that will have only one other player (cornerback Daniel McLemore) who has ever started a college game. We had a chance to visit with Thompson recently about a variety of subjects.

GP: How is practice going so far?
Thompson: Practice is going pretty good.

GP: What's been the biggest difference in this year compared to last year?
Thompson: The biggest difference to me is not having VG out there – Vernon Grant. Without him being out here, just to hear his voice, it's kind of difficult, but we're trying to go on. I'm trying to be the voice of the team right now.

GP: Was the decision to be more of a vocal leader one you made on your own or the coaches asked you to take on that responsibility?
Thompson: Actually, I've always seen myself as a leader but I'm just trying to step it up a little more since he's gone. Since he's gone we've got to try to fill that void which I don't think will ever be filled, but we'll try out best to do the things he would have done.

GP: What position will you be playing?
Thompson: No telling. Right now I'm going to be playing safety and nickel back. If they need me a corner, I can help there.

GP: Will you practice at both position during the next few weeks?
Thompson: I feel like wherever I go God is going to bless me. I think I'm pretty skilled enough to play either position (safety or cornerback). It doesn't matter to me. You can put me at linebacker, it doesn't matter to me. I feel like I've got the physical attributes to do that.

GP: Do you feel a little more pressure to step up since the secondary is going to have so many young, inexperienced players this season?
Thompson: I have to be a leader out there with so many young guys coming in. I have faith in all those young guys. They're looking pretty good in practice, and they're going out there and doing the same things that I did or Vernon Grant did the last couple years. I have faith in those guys being able to come in and play right away, and be confident and just go out there and make plays. That's all it's about, just making plays and I think they've got enough skills to do that.

GP: If you have your choice what position would you play?
Thompson: Wherever coach puts me.

GP: No, that's not an acceptable answer. Seriously, if the coaches came to you and said you could play in the secondary wherever you want, what position would you pick?
Thompson: To tell you the truth it really doesn't matter. I want to show the coaches that I can play corner, so if they need me there I can play there. I like safety because it's coming downhill and you don't have to worry about too much and you get to direct people out there. But they both of their key points that I like about both positions. But if I had to say right now, I'd say safety. But in the league (NFL), I'd say corner or nickel (back).

GP: Who are some of the newcomers who you see stepping in and helping on defense this season?
Thompson: I think Ryan McBean is going to be a real good part of our defense. I think T.J. Bell, Andre Sexton and Quinton Moore have been looking real good. Oh, and Calvin Mickens too.

GP: How is this team going to remember Vernon Grant this season?
Thompson: We really don't have to do anything special because everybody already knows that he's in our hearts. It's sad to know he's not out there with us. But we all have a purpose to go out there and play for him ... We know he's looking down on us right now smiling on us, so we're going to go out there and have a good time and get crump, just like Vernon always used to say.

GP: Get what?
Thompson: Get crump.

GP: Crump?
Thompson: Yeah, crump.

GP: What's that mean?
Thompson: Get live, get excited.

GP: Have you been using some of those same expressions that Vernon used?
Thompson: Actually, I've been using a lot of his expressions.

GP: What are some of the other expressions Vernon used?
Thompson: All ready. That's what he was always saying, ‘All ready. All ready, man.' He was always saying that. ‘All ready,' that was his thing right there. Just talking about it makes me smile and laugh. I miss him. We all miss him. Everybody is going to miss him but we'll always know that he's out there on the field with us.

GoPokes Top Stories