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Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Thompson alters timeline after new offers

By Jared Shanker

Less than a month ago, Dylan Thompson (Lombard, Ill./Montini Catholic) believed his recruitment would not go on much longer. He expected a few more offers and then a spring or early summer decision.

Now, the talented defensive lineman will delay it as long as possible.

“I thought I’d get two more after [the Core 6] Cincinnati [event], but I didn’t think I’d have nine more,” said Thompson, who now has a dozen offers. “I’m looking to narrow it down to five to eight by the beginning of my season and make a decision on signing day.”

Illinois, Indiana and Ohio State were the first three to offer Thompson, and then the likes of Arkansas, Iowa, Ole Miss and Tennessee came with scholarships. And he is receiving new interest from Florida, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Texas A&M, and USC, among several others.

The Buckeyes are one of the programs Thompson has been highest on since Ohio State offered in early February. He will make his first visit to Columbus this coming weekend.

“First of all, it’s Ohio State. It has a great reputation,” Thompson said. “I’m looking forward to meeting coach Urban Meyer in person. It’ll be good to see the facilities and the academics, scrimmage on Saturday morning and see the team meetings.”

Ohio State defensive line coach and Chicagoland recruiter Mike Vrabel remains in close contact with Thompson, and the two talk frequently. Vrabel told Thompson he is one of the top two guys on the Buckeyes’ board at defensive tackle. Thompson said he is salivating at the thought of playing alongside 2013 signee and ESPN 150 defensive tackle Joey Bosa, but he is not sure if his decision timeline will match up with Ohio State’s. Thompson admitted that while he is very high on Ohio State, his offer could be pulled if the Buckeyes fill up at tackle.

Thompson could be forced to reconsider that timeline as several schools to offer have told him they cannot guarantee him spot, which Thompson understands.

“They need to have backup options,” he said, “but it does complicate things.”

The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Thompson said most of the Midwest and Big Ten schools to offer like him at defensive tackle, but the SEC programs all want him at defensive end. He said he is open to defensive tackle and feels “it’d be awesome to bull rush and knock some people out,” but he prefers end and it could be a factor in his decision.

“A big thing for me is I love playing defensive end,” Thompson said.

Thompson will visit Michigan State (March 25), Illinois (April 1), Notre Dame (April 6) and Wisconsin (April 13) in the next few weeks, and plans to visit SEC schools in the summer. Tennessee will be one of them, and count Thompson among those impressed with the recruiting efforts of new coach Butch Jones and his staff.

“I’m really excited [about the Volunteers offer],” Thompson said. “They got big recruits coming in and are building a national championship-caliber team.”