Tight end is Gators' 10th commitment


Published: Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 1:48 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 5:13 p.m.

Florida's 10th verbal commitment to the class of 2012 is an important one for the Gators' transition to a pro-style offense.

Warminster, Pa., Archbishop Wood's Colin Thompson, a 6-foot-5, 255-pound tight end, gave his verbal commitment to Florida coaches this week and announced the decision Thursday at his school.

"I'm comfortable with my decision," he said Wednesday. "I feel like I made the right one."




Florida's 10th verbal commitment to the class of 2012 is an important one for the Gators' transition to a pro-style offense.

Warminster, Pa., Archbishop Wood's Colin Thompson, a 6-foot-5, 255-pound tight end, gave his pledge to Florida coaches this week and announced the decision Thursday at his school.

"I'm comfortable with my decision," he said Wednesday. "I feel like I made the right one."

Thompson picked Florida over Wisconsin and Boston College among more than 20 offers. He would give the Gators something they lack in a tight end, one who can block along the line of scrimmage in addition to catching passes.

"Great hands, big target to throw the ball to, he can get down the field, great blocker at the line of scrimmage," Archbishop Wood coach Steve Devlin said. "More than that, he's just a tremendous kid, a great character kid."

As a blocker, Thompson helped Wood produce two running backs with 1,100-plus rushing yards and a quarterback with 1,500-plus yards. The Vikings scored a single-season school record 511 points in 2010. As a receiver, Thompson caught 13 passes for 208 yards and four touchdowns.

Thompson visited Florida with his father and Devlin in mid-February and returned two weeks ago with his mother. His original intention was to narrow his list of top schools, but Thompson decided to make the announcement because he was so certain about the Gators.

"We went out to dinner the other night, sat down with all the pros and cons," Devlin said. "There were no cons for him. There was no reason for him not to let everybody know. Now he can concentrate on being a senior."

The keys to his choice, Thompson said, were his relationships with the coaches, the scheme and the chance to make an immediate impact.

“I was told they’re going to try to build their offense around the tight end position, blocking at the point of attack,” he said. "They told me I have an opportunity to play right away. That's awesome for me and it seems like a great situation to play in because I am the only (pro-style tight end). It's exciting."

Thompson bonded with Florida tight ends coach Derek Lewis and head coach Will Muschamp, but he was awed by offensive coordinator Charlie Weis.

“Derek Lewis is a very fiery coach, something I’m very interested in,” Thompson said. “He’s crazy in a great way. Coach Muschamp is a gentleman. He’s a great coach and a leader. I really like those guys a lot.

"Coach Weis and Coach Lewis talked about earning your playing time and earning respect from the coaches and players. I have no problem with that. I'll work as hard as anyone on the team. It's a great thing."

Florida has four scholarship tight ends on its roster, but Thompson already outweighs all of them. He was rated the No. 3 tight end in the nation and a four-star prospect by Scout.

His coach says Thompson's recruitment is now over.

"It's a great fit for him," Devlin said. "He's going to Florida. It's a done deal. If you ask him, he's going to try to get every national (prospect) to go to Florida."

Contact Jeff Barlis at 352-374-5066 or barlisj@gvillesun.com and follow at Twitter.com/JeffBarlis.

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