Tha Sports Junkies 101

Player Interview: Tight End Colin Thompson

Temple Alumni Via Flickr

TSJ101 Exclusive Interview: Tight End Colin Thompson

TSJ101 had the opportunity to interview Tight End Colin Thompson from Temple University as he prepares for the 2017 NFL Draft. Temple is in the American Athletic Conference, and Thompson own a 2016 All-ACC honorable mention. During his tenure, the Owls became the first team in school history with back-to-back division titles.

Early Struggles

Calling Colin Thompson a highly touted recruit is an understatement. Out of high school he was a consensus top-150 player, and one of the top tight ends in the nation. Also, a top five player in the state of Pennsylvania.  He committed to the University of Florida as a part of the 2013 class. When asked if he felt any sort of pressure as a blue-chip recruit: “I do feel there was pressure to perform at a high level. I wanted to do well for my family, friends, and make my hometown proud.”

A recurring foot injury kept him out for two seasons at Florida, seeing only three games of playing time. He was told his football career was over, however, he didn’t agree with the diagnosis. “I was ruled medically ineligible to play at the University of Florida. I thought it was an unfair ruling and wanted to keep playing the game I love, so transferred” Thompson said.

Temple University

Thompson’s decision to get a second opinion was a resurrection of his football career. In his three years at Temple, he was a monster at the point of attack. Assisting in back-to-back years of 2000 yards rushing, Colin Thompson displayed his gritty blocking. Receiving opportunities were not abundant at Temple, skewing his receiving stats. In three years, he started 23 games, with 30 total targets. That resulted in 110 yards, and one receiving touchdown. “I only had a few opportunities this year to catch the ball. So I can understand why I have been underrated as a pass catcher. I believe I am as proficient in the passing game as anyone in the draft.” Thompson explained.

As a blocker, he comes off the line with a strong punch and finishes his blocks. On tape he showcases his power and technique repeatedly. At times Colin Thompson tries to rely on power rather than technique, which can get him into trouble. When targeted, Thompson will catch the ball and routinely gets open. However, tight ends are not a staple of the Temple offense. In the right scheme, Thompson can line up as an H-back and do some real damage.

Q & A With Colin Thompson

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TSJ101: What is your favorite thing about the game of football?

Thompson: I love to compete. To me, there is no better feeling than competing alongside a group of guys you’ve worked tirelessly with just to make one play, game, and season work.

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TSJ101: Who were some of your role models growing up?

ThompsonJason Witten was one of the Tight Ends I looked up to in football. However, my parents are my true role models. They’ve always set the bar high when it comes to hard work and success, so I try to chase that everyday.

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TSJ101: Tell me what it was like to transition from high school to division 1 football?

Thompson: Absorbing the amount of information thrown at you and adjusting to the faster pace of play made the transition a challenge. But once I built relationships with coaches and teammates, I felt my knowledge of the game begin to grow and everything seemed to slow down.

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TSJ101: What role did your family play in your academic as well as athletic collegiate career?

Thompson: I wouldn’t be in this position today without my parents. They are great examples of the person and hard worker I have become.

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TSJ101: Around what age did you begin playing organized football?

Thompson: I started organized football when I was 12 years old. I played for Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman’s 6th grade football team.

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TSJ101: What NFL player do you look up to and/or mold your game after?

Thompson: I have looked up to Jason Witten for quite some time now. Since watching his film, I feel I can do many of the things that make him so special to the Cowboys.

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TSJ101: Coming out of high school, what were some of your favorite colleges that you wanted to attend?

Thompson: Coming out of High School, my top five schools were Florida, Alabama, Boston College, Wisconsin, and Stanford. At the University of Florida, I enjoyed the coaching staff, the school, and the opportunities that were present at the time. However, transferring to Temple University was the best decision I made in my football career. In my opinion, the school, city, and football program are unrivaled.

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TSJ101: What are some of your strengths on the field?

Thompson: I believe that I have a strong knowledge of the game from my time at Temple working with my tight end coach, Ed Foley. The knowledge I gained from him allows me to react and make plays on a consistent basis, whether it’s blocking at the point of attack or making plays in the passing game. My size allows me to separate from defenders and create mismatches in the Red zone.

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TSJ101: What are some areas you feel you could improve on?

Thompson: I need to improve in all areas of my game, even the areas I am proficient in. The NFL is full of complete Tight Ends, so I believe I need to improve on all of the skills needed to be a successful Tight End.

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TSJ101: What kind of training are you doing to prepare for the NFL Draft and potential team workouts?

Thompson: I spent six weeks in Atlanta, GA training with Chip Smith, and am now back at Temple continuing what I started in January. The type of training I’m doing is everything from strength and speed training, to route-running and film work.

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TSJ101: Why do you feel you’re being underrated as a pass catcher?

Thompson: I only had a few opportunities this year to catch the ball, so I can understand why I have been underrated as a pass catcher. I believe I am as proficient in the passing game as anyone in the draft. The scouts at the Temple pro day as well as the teams I have worked out with have seen what I can bring to the passing game.

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TSJ101: What will an NFL team get from you both on and off the field?

Thompson: The NFL team that selects me is going to get someone who loves to complete and loves the game of football. On and off the field, the NFL brand needs to be represented in a first-class manner, and I believe I am more than capable of doing so.

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TSJ101: Most importantly, who is your favorite team?

Thompson: I grew up in the Philadelphia area, but surprisingly I’m not a die-hard Eagles fan. Also, I’m just a big fan of the NFL. So I enjoy watching all teams especially ones with my former teammates from Florida and Temple.