Throughout the offseason, The Game Haus will be spotlighting some under-the-radar prospects hoping to continue their football careers on the professional level – preferably in the NFL.
Most hail from schools outside the traditional Power 5, and even from the FCS level. However, their heart and determination to reach the NFL, or any professional football league, for that matter, is larger and greater than most recognizable NFL prospects looking to make their dream a reality.
Today, Kevin Thompson is up, a defensive lineman from Bethune-Cookman
Kevin Thompson is realistic, but he’s also confident. Confident that his time as a professional football player isn’t too far away.
Thompson isn’t getting near the same kind of attention like expected first-round defensive ends such as Nick Bosa, Rashan Gary or Clelin Ferrell receive, but that does not mean it’s time to give up the dream of playing pro ball.
“Those guys played on TV each and every week, I’m more likely to be under-the-radar,” Thompson said.
He’s not alone.
Especially, those like Thompson who played in the FCS. It just might make the challenge of reaching the NFL, or any other professional football league, a little tougher.
But Thompson is fine with putting in the extra work to overcome the odds. He was a gifted high school football player growing up in Baltimore, but simply surviving the violence that often surrounded him on that city’s streets could be a challenge. Thompson did, and ended up at Bethune-Cookman, where he overcame a shoulder injury in 2017 to finish a solid career with the Wildcats.
Getting it done
A defensive end by trade, Thompson also spent time on the interior of the defensive front in college. He recorded six career sacks, half of which came during his 2018 senior season. Thompson also posted 9 1/2 tackles for loss in his final collegiate campaign and earned a spot in the FCS Bowl, an all-star game showcasing the talent of some of the subdivision’s top players.
Thompson recorded two tackles and delivered a hit to the quarterback in that contest. He was also named the defensive MVP of the College Gridiron Showcase program.
Because of his ability to play at different spots on the defensive line, Thompson is capable of playing in both 4-3 and 3-4 defensive schemes. Part of his current training regime includes preparing himself, through footwork and hand-placement drills, to play wherever he’s asked.
“I’m working on a little bit of everything,” Thompson said. “I’m just trying to show my athleticism.”
He will continue to do that, setting himself up for his pro day in March. That’s where NFL scouts will again get the chance to see what Thompson is all about.
What they’ll likely find out is that no odds are too long or challenge too great for Thompson to take on.