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Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Kansas RB talks training, potential visits

By Damon Sayles

Don’t expect a commitment announcement until after the 2013 football season for running back Deron Thompson (Wichita, Kan./Northwest). Do, however, expect Thompson to fully benefit from his summer training.

While many football players are either going through traditional gridiron workouts or playing 7-on-7, Thompson is honing the one skill that could separate him: speed. Listed at 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, Thompson’s lack of size quickly becomes a nonfactor when the conversation of his 4.28 40-yard dash time is mentioned.

“I do a lot of track training in the summer, but I also do football training,” Thompson said. “I’ve thought about doing the two-sport thing [track and football]. If it comes to football, with me being more successful in football, then that’ll be the way I go, but I’d like to do both in college.”

Thompson, a Kansas all-state back, has offers from Kansas State, Minnesota, Colorado State, Western Michigan, Army and, most recently, Idaho. He’s looking to set up official visits to Kansas State, Minnesota, Colorado State and Western Michigan, with a fifth official visit still to be determined.

As for a favorite or a top list, Thompson said he won’t anoint any programs until after his visits.

“There are some schools I really do like,” Thompson said, “but I plan on taking some visits in the fall first. I want to do that first.”

Thompson is coming off a junior season in which he rushed for 1,482 yards and 15 touchdowns. He averaged nearly eight yards per carry and also scored two receiving touchdowns.

In addition to speed training, Thompson said he has been focused more on reading defenses as a running back. He’s been working on his field vision and overall shiftiness.

“To be honest, I feel I can be an every-down back,” Thompson said. “I can run, catch, block, all that. Whatever you need me to do, I can do it.”

Thompson’s speed makes him a dangerous target, not only in the backfield, but also for special teams responsibilities. He’s run the 40 in 4.28 seconds twice, most recently during a school workout. Thompson has been slightly slowed by quad and hamstring injuries, but he still has enough in his tank to participate in the USA Track and Field National Junior Championships June 20-22 in Des Moines, Iowa.