FRISCO, Tex. — Chris Thompson Jr. was in the midst of an interview at the Opening finals last week. He was fielding questions about a lot of schools that are on his radar.
Texas came up. Of course. The Longhorns currently have all eight of the 247Sports “Crystal Ball” projection for his decision. The Duncanville High standout lists as the nation’s No. 7 safety for 2020 on the 247Sports Composite ratings for this cycle.
He has his top schools but said he was also “still pretty open” to any options at this time.
“I’m still trying to figure everything out,” he said. “I plan on committing before the season.”
USC came up. That’s where he just recently took an official visit prior to being named as an injury replacement to the Opening finals. He’s also been to Ohio State for an official.
When the subject of his interest in Georgia was mentioned, he wrapped up that topic with the following thought: “I think I need to go back,” he said. “I just want to talk to the older players more. Like the veterans. I want to talk to them more. That’s about it.”
The week at the Opening was important for Thompson. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Texan is seen as a punishing and a physical hitter. He can fly into the box and get backs on the ground.
But can he cover? Where are the ball skills? What type of range does he have in coverage? Thompson provided some clarity to those skills in the 7-on-7 tournament.
— Joseph Hoyt (@JoeJHoyt) July 2, 2019
.@Duncanville_Fb S Chris Thompson (@cdotcaash_) with the pass break up here. He’s playing in a two-high safety look with @WEBOrecruiting1 DB Lorando Johnson. @SportsDayHS #txhsfb pic.twitter.com/GOmBHjg0gi
— Joseph Hoyt (@JoeJHoyt) July 2, 2019
— Will Baizer (@WillBaizer) July 2, 2019
— Scott Schrader (@Scott_Schrader) July 2, 2019
— Joseph Hoyt (@JoeJHoyt) July 3, 2019
It was a good week for Thompson. He showed he could test well and flashed good range as he was often tasked to cover ground from a two-deep safety look.
DawgNation was told he timed in the 4.66 range for his 40 at the event. That’s a good time for him. If that number was indeed accurate, it would be a big reason for schools to look even closer at Thompson.
Georgia might just do that, too. Thompson said he had the feeling that “early August” might be the expected decision timeline. For now.
He said that Georgia defensive quality control analyst Jules Montinar has been in close contact here.
“Georgia is pretty good,” Thompson Jr. said. “They have been recruiting me hard. Coach Jules [Montinar] has been pretty vocal with me.
Thompson was in Athens for a recent visit, too.
“I talked to the players like Lewis Cine,” Thompson said. “I know him well. He just gave me personal input on the school.”
Cine didn’t tip-toe through the culture at Georgia. That’s why Thompson feels that Georgia has a shot right now to sign him.
“He says it is tough, but it is worth it,” he said in reference to what Cine told him about UGA.
Texas will be tough to topple for Chris Thompson Jr.
“Texas has been with me since Day 1,” he said. “They have shown me that they are pretty loyal. That’s pretty big.”
The Longhorns have a non-stop recruiter as an ally here. That is his Duncanville (Duncanville, Tex.) teammate Ja’Quinden Jackson. Jackson is committed to Texas and he rates as the nation’s No. 5 ATH and No. 55 overall prospect for 2020.
“He’s recruiting me 24/7,” Thompson said.
There are two main criteria he will use here for his decision:
- Trust in the coaching staff
- The defensive scheme needs to prepare him for the NFL
He sees himself fitting into a role in the Texas defense that Caden Stearns occupies now. Stearns was the nation’s No. 1 safety for the 2018 class. He shined in his freshman season by starting every game. He was also named a Freshman All-American after his first season but did not play against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.
Thompson can play that high safety like Stearns and come down and close on the ball, too. A lot of those Texas fans from his home state are hoping he joins Stearns in that secondary.
“It is a big possibility,” Thompson Jr. said. “I’m just waiting on whatever God has for me.”
Georgia CB pledge Jalen Kimber made a point to seek out Thompson at the Opening. Kimber was in his ear often at the hotel.
When he speaks, that’s a Bulldog commitment from the state of Texas talking to him there. Kimber has been telling Thompson about Georgia for a few months now.
“Just getting to the NFL,” Thompson said in regard to that message. “Georgia can help get to the NFL over any school. That’s what he’s saying.”
Thompson shared what he likes the best about the Bulldogs.
“Just the defense they have,” he said. “The history of the defense. They’ve been putting players in the NFL. That’s pretty big.”
How Chris Thompson Jr. would fit in at Georgia
He noted that the Bulldogs have increased their recruiting intensity of late.
“They see me playing pretty much as a nickel or a high safety,” Thompson Jr. said. “Mainly a high safety, though.”
Thompson plans to sign during the early period and enroll early in January of 2020.
Georgia plans on taking at least three defensive backs in this class. That number could shoot up to four. Kimber has a guaranteed spot in the class as the nation’s No. 6 CB prospect and No. 78 overall player.
He’s been playing a lot in elite 7-on-7 events as a nickel corner. That’s because he has the speed and length to negate the speedy slot receivers that typically excel in that format.
Kelee Ringo, the nation’s No. 1 CB out of Arizona, is the other priority for the cornerback slot. He has yet to declare his college decision. The Bulldogs would then look to add a flex defensive back like Oregon commit Avantae Williams to the class.
Williams can line up at either safety or in the slot. He rates as the nation’s No. 1 safety and No. 47 player overall. There are a lot of similarities to Georgia junior ALL-SEC candidate Richard LeCounte III on his highlight film.
Thompson is another option high on the board for Georgia in this cycle.