Thompson Plans To Make Early Impact

In the middle of October, West Virginia freshman receiver Jordan Thompson had planned on playing baseball in college. He had received some interest from FCS football programs, but it wasn't something that really interested him.

Then, he got a call from WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen during class one day.

"(It was a) West Virginia number. I wondered ‘Who's calling me?' I answered in class, just being sneaky," Thompson said. "He told me, 'This is Dana Holgorsen.' After that I just told the teacher and she dismissed me out of class."

That call changed his future. He put to rest the baseball career that started all the way back when he was two-and-a-half years old and went for the sport he started when he was nine – only because his parents wouldn't let him play before that.

"I just couldn't pass up that opportunity," said Thompson, who had been a middle infielder in his baseball career. "For 15 years, I had played baseball, and then all of a sudden I had to stop. It was a good decision, and I'm glad I did it, but it was tough."

The recruiting process with the Mountaineers picked up quickly after that call from Holgorsen. In December, Thompson made a trip up to Morgantown to visit, and he committed soon after.

Because Thompson had taken enough classes to graduate from high school, he enrolled at WVU in January after three online classes and thus has taken part in spring practice.

"He's a tough kid," Holgorsen said earlier this spring. "I'm not giving him any credit right now, since he hasn't played a down. He likes to play the game though. He played at Katy High School, one of the most renowned high schools in the entire country - and one of the most physical programs in the entire country."

In his senior year of high school, despite only getting recruited a bit by Texas Tech before the Mountaineers came calling, he had 66 receptions and 1,117 yards receiving for an average of 17.8 yards per catch to go along with 17 touchdowns – despite being undersized.

"I've always been the youngest and smallest kid my entire life – in all sports. When you get down, you can't keep being hard on yourself. You have to push and drive and things will get better. Success will follow," the 5-foot-8, 165-pound receiver said.

The two freshman that Holgorsen and other coaches have picked out this spring have been Thompson and his dorm roommate cornerback Karl Joseph.

"He's tough. Like coach says, he plays a lot bigger than he is," Joseph said.

Thompson said he came to WVU early to get a jump on his fellow freshmen teammates who will arrive later this summer. In addition, he knew he had to add weight if he expected to play in 2012.

"A lot of people have read about me, but few of them have seen me play. I need to put on a show and give a great impression to the players and coaches," he said of Saturday's Gold-Blue Spring Game.

In his first semester on campus, Thompson has made sure to watch fellow inside receiver Tavon Austin, the player that cornerbacks coach Daron Roberts called "maybe the best player in the country," and take notice of things Austin's doing.

"I can see myself in his position after he leaves. It's going to take time and determination, but I can definitely see myself in his shoes down the road," Thompson said.

Thompson is smart – he's taken calculus to back that up. And, he admitted that he picked up the offensive playbook in two weeks.

Thompson hasn't declared a major yet, but he's going to go into criminology – a tough major to tackle when playing football. He has doubts in his ability to accomplish both successfully, however.

He admitted that his mom has always been tough on him in terms of grades. He's had straight A's since elementary school.

"I'm here at college first and foremost to get a degree – and secondly to play football. Academics are so important, because they can take you a lot of places in life," he said. "This semester has been pretty natural to me, because I've been doing football and baseball and school my entire life … The only difference is that I'm on my own now.

"I went to prom my junior year with my girlfriend, so I'm not really missing much. The first two weeks were definitely tough. It was an adjustment not seeing the people you normally see everyday. After a while you just mature."

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