September 17, 2009

Rivals250 DE has top four narrowed down

Carlos Thompson spent the summer visiting schools and searching for favorites.

And while the trips and camps resulted in an established top-four, the Hollandale (Simmons), Miss., native isn't planning to progress his recruitment much more right now. His Blue Devils are 3-0, and that's the most important thing on the defensive end's mind.

Simmons has outscored opponents 51-8 and is emerging as a player in Class 2A. Thompson (6-foot-5, 220) has five sacks in the three games and is living up to his lofty billing. Rivals.com ranks Thompson as the No. 3 player in Mississippi, the No. 8 player nationally at his position and the No. 114 overall prospect in the 2010 class.

"We have a good team that is very physical and has speed," Thompson said. "Defense is a big deal because it's tough to win if you don't score. We have a chance to be really good before the year is over."

And just like what one would expect from a coach's son, Thompson doesn't elaborate on his individual success and notoriety. The small-school talent has picked up more than a handful of Division I offers, but he has yet to stop and rest on his laurels.

"I guess all the attention is cool," Thompson said, "but it just makes you work harder and focus even more. Things can always change. I'm just doing all I can to take advantage of this great opportunity. I know if I work hard I'll be headed to a good place come February."

February is, of course, a reference to National Signing Day, and Thompson won't likely make a call on a college much before then. He does know the frontrunners at this point, however. Thompson has decided on Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Baylor and Vanderbilt as his top four. He has seen all four campuses firsthand. Memphis and Southern Miss have also offered.

"There are great things about all of them," Thompson said. "The Ole Miss coaches are really great, and the team has really turned a corner and is exciting.

"It's the coaches at Mississippi State, and then I'm familiar with a lot of their players.

"Vanderbilt and Baylor both have great academics, and Waco, (Texas) was really neat. I like Nashville all right as well."

Coaches could resume contact with recruits Sept. 1, and Thompson has been routinely contacted by coaches at his two in-state choices. Ole Miss assistants Tyrone Nix, Derrick Nix and Terry Price have also played a role in Thompson's recruitment, while the Bulldogs' Melvin Smith has built a relationship as well.

Price watched Simmons beat Leland, 10-0, last Friday, and Smith and Thompson talked Saturday.

"Those guys just make you comfortable and want to be around them," Thompson said of the UM and MSU coaches. "It's a nice feeling."

Thompson isn't planning to attend a college game Saturday.

The senior reports a 2.9 GPA and is expected to major in marketing.

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