Jason Ivester

Arkansas OLB/DE to take WSU official visit - Roy Manning's pre-practice hype videos catching his attention

AS YOU MAY have seen on Twitter, Cougar outside linebackers coach Roy Manning is fired up about WSU, fall camp, and just about everything else crimson. He’s posted a video every day before practice and his energy has traveled more than 2,000 miles to England, Ark., to impress a 6-6 defensive end recruit who has the Cougs among his leaders and will be taking an official visit to WSU this fall.

When was the last time the Cougs recruited in Arkansas? It’s a tough question to answer but for the 2017 class, defensive end B.J. Thompson holds a Cougar offer and is high on the Cougs.

And Manning is the one selling him on all the great things about a possible future in Pullman.

“Washington State offered me in the spring and it wasn’t something that I really expected,” Thompson told CF.C on Monday night. “I had been speaking with Coach Roy Manning and I was excited. It’s big with them being in the Pac-12.”

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Since being offered in the spring, Manning and Thompson have continued to talk. The two follow each other on Twitter and you’d better believe Manning’s pre-practice hype videos is something the Arkansas product has taken notice of. 

“He’s the outside linebackers coach and I’d line up there and defensive end,” Thompson said. “To see him on Twitter with all of that excitement  is great. I’d love to play for a coach like that. It shows he’s as excited about football as I am. It’d be a privilege to have someone like that coach me up.”


The 6-6, 205-pounder says his top six is WSU, Kansas, Memphis, Cincinnati, Arkansas State and Louisiana Tech. He’s still working on setting up official visits, but knows of one he’ll be taking for sure.

“I’ll for sure be taking an official visit to Washington State,” Thompson said. “I like them because I’d have the chance to play in the Pac-12 and a big Power Five conference team. They came all the way to England, Arkansas to see me play this spring. That showed me right there that they’re serious in me. 

“Coach Manning saw my highlight tape and then followed me on Twitter. That’s how their recruitment in me got started. I’m 6-6 and there aren’t too many guys that size that can jump and run with my kind of speed. I feel like I’m a specimen.”

Thompson said he’s unsure of when he’ll be making his final decision, but that it would likely come after taking visits.


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