Bryan Thompson is the anti-receiver. He doesn’t have the typical flashy bravado or prima donna mindset. He has an attitude any coach would love.
“I think I should beat anybody. I never think that I will lose anything. My mind isn't set that way,” Thompson said. “My mind is anybody who lines up in front of me, I'm going to beat them every time.”
"Any ball that goes up should be mine.”
If it’s not already, that last sentence should be the Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde wide receiver’s motto because that’s exactly the way he plays. When the ball is thrown his way, Thompson is determined to bring home the bacon. The fast-rising three star showed that last weekend during the B2G National Legends tournament when he stood out with his combination of explosiveness and competitive fire.
Thompson routinely got open even when facing some elite 7-on-7 teams. He appreciated the opportunity to show his abilities, saying it’s an extra motivator when he faces a highly ranked player or team.
“I love competition. I think it brings out the best in me because those guys are supposed to be on that level,” Thompson said. “If I see them competing with me, I believe that I can beat them so I think I can compete at a higher level.”
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound 2017 prospect has good size. He showed an ability to get behind defenders and the desire to snag the ball out of the air even when in traffic.
“I describe my game as all around. I'm fast. I jump for balls. I jump 22.8 in long jump, so jump balls that's my specialty. And I'm explosive coming out of my breaks.”
His route running is still a little raw, but he jets out of his breaks and gets plenty of separation already. When he refines his route running, he should take another step in his development, which might make opposing cornerbacks cringe.
Thompson doesn’t back down and though he doesn’t talk much on the field, he isn’t afraid to get in a defender’s face and stare him down. Any time he goes to the turf, he immediately pops up to his feet. He never lingers on the ground.
“I never show weakness. I can't stand weakness,” Thompson said. “I want to keep the intimidation factor. I get up as soon as I go down [to the ground] and stare them in the face and let them know that I'm not intimidated by them.”
After averaging 96.8 yards and a touchdown per game in the fall (58 rec, 1259 yds, 13 TD), Thompson is already garnering interest from colleges with offers from Arizona State, Colorado, Washington and UNLV along with one Monday from Arizona. But that list could quickly grow thanks to his mentality and potential.
USC is one of the schools that is showing interest in Thompson, but has yet to offer.
“My coach has been telling me that they want to see me go up to their school to meet the coaching staff,” Thompson said. “I believe that if I work hard enough anything is possible.”
One thing Thompson has taken note of is the talented receivers the Trojans have produced recently.
“That's very important to me. The caliber of wide receivers they have put into the league. Any school that has put receivers into the league, that's impressive to me. It shows they can help me grow as a football player.”
Check out his recent 7-on-7 highlights: