IN THE HUDDLE: Brandon Thompkins

FloridaKids.us once again brings you a player who is not in the spotlight, but is certainly on the rise in one of the most productive areas in the state for the 2005 season, Palm Beach County.

PLAYER: Brandon Thompkins
POSITION: Athlete
SCHOOL: Palm Beach Lakes
HEIGHT: 5-9
WEIGHT: 165
40 SPEED: 4.5
HEAD COACH: Dan Sanso
www.floridakids.us Pre-Spring Ranking: Not rated.

When attending football camps and combines you can always tell who the top prospects are right away. The thing is trying to find the hidden gems that can make an impact on the recruiting front.

To me, when you can spot talent right away and tell colleges about that players, that's something that people will always remember. Over the past two years, I have been fortunate to see many, many quality players, and when I can look at that individual and tell that he will be something special right away, it works out to everyone's advantage.

One prospect that fits that mold is Palm Beach Lakes receiver Brandon Thompkins. While Thompkins is not the biggest prospect (5-9, 165 pounds), he more than makes up for it with good speed, quickness and the ability play this game at a high level.

While at the recent Rutgers University football camp at Riviera Beach Suncoast High in Palm Beach County, Thompkins turned some heads as the Scarlet Knights' coaching staff left very impressed.

When you consider that there were some elite area players on hand such as DeAndre Morgan (Suncoast), Emanuel Cook (Palm Beach Gardens) and Brandon Heath (Palm Beach Lakes), what Thompkins did was extremely important as the entire RU coaching staff watched his every move. In my estimation, he was probably the MVP of the Rutgers camp.

STRENGTHS: Speed and quickness is the strength of Thompkins' game. While he is not very big, he relies on a quick first step to get off the line of scrimmage. It was that quick first step and aggressive play that gave Morgan, a quality defensive back, all he could handle.

What is also impressive about Thompkins is he is strong for someone his size. He is not the type of receiver that will be pushed around at the line of scrimmage. Where he is at his best is in the open field. Give him space and there may not be a cornerback in the state of Florida that can cover him. Physical receivers are what all colleges are looking for, and here is one who easily fits that mold.

WHAT HE NEEDS TO WORK ON: Thompkins needs to continue to improve his route running and getting a cleaner break from the line of scrimmage. He is a little choppy in his route running, but that will improve the more he works on it.

Outside of his route running, Thompkins' size will be a concern for college recruiters. While he won't get much taller, college recruiters want to know if his body could handle more weight. He needs to gain at least 10-15 pounds to get some serious consideration from division one teams.

I point size out for a reason. Remember, at the next level you will come across defensive backs and safeties who are big, strong and quick, and over a course of the game, will wear you down with those qualities.

OVERALL: Whether it's at the D1A level, which Thompkins has the talent to play at, or Division 1AA, someone will get a prospect with a ton of upside. He has all the athletic talent to make it at the next level.

COLLEGES ON THE HORIZON: Maybe because of his lack of exposure, right now Thompkins is a borderline D1A-1AA prospect. If he has a good senior season, Thompkins should get some looks from the MAC, WAC and Mountain West conferences. FIU, FAU, South Florida and the University of Central Florida will also take a hard look at what he does on the field this fall.

MORE FISHBEIN ARCHIVED STORIES:
IN THE HUDDLE: MICHAEL JOHNSON ¬– WESTON CYPRESS BAY
SPRING REPORT: Pompano Tornadoes
BOYD ANDERSON: A Force In 6A?
DAVIE NOVA: A Program On The Rise
MIAMI CENTRAL: A True 6A Powerhouse
NEW SMYRNA‘S ONE, TWO PUNCH
THE TWIN TOWERS: Pasco's Brown & Davis
STEPPING OUT THE SHADOW: Gene Atkins Jr.
HIDDEN GEM: HECTOR HERNANDEZ
IMMOKALEE: NICE GUYS DO FINISH FIRST
POMPANO BEACH ELY RUNNING BACKS
IN THE TRENCHES
SOUTH FLORIDA LINEMEN – PART I
SOUTH FLORIDA LINEMEN – PART II
SOUTH FLORIDA LINEMEN – PART III
IN THE HUDDLE – TYLER RICE
IN THE HUDDLE – KENRICK ELLIS – Greenacres John I. Leonard
IN THE HUDDLE – EMMANUEL COOK – Palm Beach Gardens
IN THE HUDDLE – KEVIN HOLLOWAY – Miramar Parkway Academy
PALM BEACH LAKES
PAHOKEE
KICKIN' UP A STORM

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