July 9, 2007

Thompson setting up visits

As the Ohio State recruiting class takes shape the coaches have thrown out a national net looking for the best players from coast to coast. Despite offering a commitment to the Miami Hurricanes the phone continues to ring for defensive tackle Justin Thompson out of El Camino community college. The 6-foot-5, 280-pounder was supposed to make a June trip to Columbus but had to call it off because of school commitments.

"I wanted to get my (class work) taken care of so that's why I didn't come out to Ohio State," Thompson said. "I had to get my school and everything situated and make sure everything was taken care of with my teachers and everything. As soon as I get everything on track I plan on taking a trip out to Ohio and visiting."

With schools like Cal, LSU and Oregon all calling Thompson as well the JUCO lineman knows that his recruitment may be far from over despite a pledge to Miami head coach Randy Shannon.

"There is really only like three of four schools I am keeping my eyes on other than Miami," Thompson said. "Just keeping my eyes open and seeing what everyone has to offer."

The summer has been busy for Thompson as he and his El Camino teammates get ready for their upcoming season. There has not been much time to focus on recruiting with the rigors of summer practice taking its toll.

"We had taken a two week break," Thompson said. "But now we have been in summer practices for about three weeks or so."

Thompson is only one high profile target on his defensive line with several other players returning for a second season at El Camino.

"Basically our whole starting line from last year is returning except for one guy," Thompson said. "We also picked up four or five really good linemen this year for this season."

College recruiters have made a permanent camp at El Camino with so many talented players along with Thompson lining up on the defensive line.

"For sure our whole starting line is going high (Division) I-A," Thompson said. "On our second string we will have about two guys who will go (Division) I-A and the rest should go middle (Division) I-A or I-AA."

With few dates left available Thompson knows that he might be hard pressed taking any more summer visits but will still make an attempt if possible to visit a couple of schools.

"I might try and take one or two more unofficials," Thompson said. "Just so I can get all my options in before February comes because it is coming closer than I thought it would."

The Buckeyes are not in line for an unofficial but are in line for an official visit from Thompson.

"I talked to my D-line coach (Tim Hyde) and he set everything up and put me on the list," Thompson said.

Ohio State and LSU have both set up October officials with Thompson.

"I will be taking an official to LSU on the 6th (of October)," Thompson said. "Then I believe it is a week or two after that before I go to Ohio State."

Thompson believes that he will be in for the week of the 20th when the Buckeyes take on Michigan State. He trades messages with the Ohio State coaches frequently and likes what the coaches have to say.

"I talk to them a lot, they send text messages here and there," Thompson said. "They are still talking to me about (playing tackle). They said they have very high interest, and if any problems came up with classes they have no problem waiting on me."

But Thompson doesn't foresee any problems on the academic side with his class work path set up.

"Everything is going well," Thompson said. "All I have to do is get my (Associates degree) and then I will be straight."

Does Thompson have any idea of what he might like to study once he gets to his four-year destination?

"I was thinking about majoring in speech and communications," Thompson said. "I might want to be a broadcaster involved with the NFL (laugh)."

Of course Thompson would like to delay his announcing career for some time if his football career goes according to plan.

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