TCU & Oklahoma State Lead Race For Rider Back

Check out Stepping Stones!! TexasPrepInsider goes in depth with some of the top Class of 2009 recruits as you get an early introduction to the big names for next season! Today we talk with Wichita Falls Rider RB Jurell Thompson. If you don't have a premium membership to TexasPrepInsider, you are missing out!!!

The focus of recruiting in Wichita Falls is centered around Rider High School and rightfully so as the Raiders sport four big time prospects and the one who is flying under the radar the most is RB Jurell Thompson. Thompson who shares the offensive spotlight with Oklahoma commit WR Eric Ward and QB Shavodrick Beaver (the fourth prospect is hard hitting LB James Chambers), is the least publicized of the group but might be the key to the Raiders chances at a state title.

The 6'0 195 pound senior to be with sub 4.5 speed in the forty has helped ROHO to back to back trips to the Class 4A Division II State Quarter-Finals, including a 12-2 mark in 2007.

As a sophomore in 2006, Thompson racked up 1088 yards and 11 touchdowns while sharing carries with the graduated Damien Washington. Those solid numbers earned Jurell first team all 5-4A honors. In 2007, Thompson was even better earning 5-4A Offensive Player of the Year honors totaling over 1300 total yards and 15 touchdowns. Look for Thompson's numbers to improve even more in 2008 as he won't be sharing any time in the backfield and will get the lion's share of the workload.

Thompson who made a big impact catching the ball out of the backfield in 2007 says his versatility is one of his biggest assets, "I think I am a do it all back, I can run, catch and block. Plus I've got good vision."

As things stand right now it appears TCU and Oklahoma State are at the top of Jurell's list but he's also gotten interest from Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Tulsa and Mississippi. This summer Thompson doesn't plan on making any camps but he does plan on making an impression at Saturday's UnderArmour/ Combine in Dallas.

"I'm really going to take a look at the depth chart and a school's academic standing," says the future criminal justice major who likely won't make a final decision on his college of choice until after the 2008 season.

As for 2008, Jurell says this year it's state title or bust for the Raiders as losing heartbreakers in back to back seasons in the State Quarter-Finals has the Raiders hungrier than ever. "I think losing to Everman last year at Texas Stadium was tougher than the Frenship loss in 2006 because in 2006 everyone was back. We knew we had one more year, but we lost a lot of good seniors after the Everman game. Me and the rest of the seniors want to go out on top this year; those two losses motivate us everyday."

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