Chris Thompson Hopes To Make His Mark In The NFLSep 3rd, 2013 | By Admin | Category: Front Page
By Jacob Bembry
Greene Publishing, Inc.
When Chris Thompson dropped back to return a punt on Thursday evening, Aug. 29, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers he had one goal on his mind: the end zone! Sixty-nine yards later, he had made that goal a reality. In a phone interview with this reporter the next day, Thompson said that he hoped he made a statement with the return. Make a statement he did and the statement was bold, in italics with lots of exclamation points at the end. As the Washington Redskin wearing number 35 sped downfield with the speed of a gazelle, Tampa Bay Buccaneers who tried to catch him were left gasping for breath and lying on the field. The road to the NFL seemed to be a short distance for young Chris Thompson. Hailing from Greenville, the 5’7”, 192-pound running back was a standout at Madison County High School and a member of their 2007 state championship team. From there, he went on to star at Florida State University and had outstanding seasons, particularly in 2011 and 2012, which, unfortunately, were ended due to injuries. When the 2013 NFL draft came around, Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan drafted Thompson in the fifth round to bolster the already strong running backs corps in the nation’s capital city. Thompson came on strong during the second half of the pre-season despite letting the ball bounce out of his hands on a couple of occasions (a no-no in Coach Shanahan’s book). When regular punt returner Richard Crawford went down with a season-ending injury, Thompson was called upon to fill his shoes. Thompson said there was some culture shock when he arrived at the Washington Redskins’ training camp, but credits his coaches at Florida State with preparing him for the NFL. “Coach Fisher and my running backs coach had coached a lot of players who went to the NFL,” he said. During his senior year at FSU, Thompson made the move to change the number he wore from 23 to number 4. His reason behind doing it was a former MCHS star and FSU Seminole, Mikhal Kornegay. At FSU, Kornegay wore the number and he served as captain of the Seminoles during his senior year. Kornegay later went on to be a graduate assistant coach at FSU “He is like a big brother to me,” Thompson said about his decision to wear the number and pay homage to Kornegay. “He was best friends with my big brother and while I was in high school and at FSU, he helped me, not only with football but with other areas (of my life).” When asked about what he thought about the Seminoles’ plans to use former Cowboy and Seminole teammate Jacobbi McDaniel at fullback in short yardage situations, he responded enthusiastically, “I love it. He did it a little in high school and hopefully, he can open some holes and get yardage in third and one situations. He can do it.” Thompson is the son of Cynthia and Maurice James and Jerome Thompson. He has four brothers: Mark Leonard, Marcus Thompson, Eric Thompson and O.J. Brinson, and two sisters, Kimberly Barfield and Raven Thompson. Away from the field, he enjoys playing video games. “I play Madden games and Call of Duty,” he said. “I probably play them the most.” When asked what he hopes to accomplish in the NFL, Thompson replied, “Hopefully making some big plays in the return game and on offense. I want to do what I possibly can do to get to the Super Bowl.”