Because of his lack of size and elite speed, Jordan Thompson has been overshadowed. But when you've been sitting behind Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Mario Alford and Kevin White, playing time is hard to come by. Now, in his last season, Thompson is ready to make the jump from solid role player to major contributor.
“My junior year the game slowed down for me a lot,” said Thompson. “I felt like I was more comfortable on the field. I felt like the game was going slower because I’d finally gotten used to the game speed.”
Thompson only caught 36 balls his first two seasons because of adjustments to the speed, sheer size and quickness of pace. But after eclipsing that mark with 49 catches a year ago, the Texas native said the game seemed to reduce its sheer velocity as he gained a greater feel for not moving quickly, but rather slowing his own play as well.
“I felt like I had to play full speed all the time,” he said. "The game was just moving so fast I couldn’t take time off.”
Now, a developed and confident Thompson is ready to make an impact on the team. He said it didn’t matter where he was playing as long as he was on the field. K.J. Dillon and Thompson often go at each other in practice, and Dillon admitted that Thompson is one of the craftiest players on the team. Receivers coach Lonnie Galloway has also been impressed with Thompson's maturation and ability to adjust. The assistant coach said "squirt" is going to play a good amount in the first game at inside receiver, and that Thompson, K.J. Myers and Daikiel Shorts will be breaking up reps inside.
“Going into my senior I feel like the game is slower than I am,” said Thompson. “Which can work in my favor.” Thompson will have to continue working on his timing with Skylar Howard and company. If Howard and Squirt can get on the same page, they could be a deadly duo.
Thompson collected 49 receptions and almost 600 receiving yards last year. If he can add to those numbers the offense will have significantly more options in the pass game, including the mesh and crossing routes so imperative to head coach Dana Holgorsen. Because right now, there is no “go to” guy on the field, and that might be a good thing for the offense. The output will be on more than one or two players’ shoulders, which gives ample opportunity for a group of receivers that haven’t proved much. With his intelligence and continual drive to work, Thompson is frankly expected be a bright spot for the Mountaineers this season.
Below, check out Thompson's thoughts on his own game, going against Dillon, how he responds to the safety's comments that he's as difficult to defend as any slot receiver and his own personal goals for the initial game against Georgia Southern.