GHS receiver Thompson on UF's radar


Head coach Will Muschamp, left, talks with Gainesville High School player Chris Thompson during Friday Night Lights at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Friday in Gainesville.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Saturday, July 28, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, July 29, 2012 at 12:50 a.m.

For Gainesville High School wide receiver Chris Thompson, visiting The Swamp is nothing out of the ordinary.

The 6-foot, 170-pound rising senior, who participated in his third Friday Night Lights camp this week at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, is already on Florida's radar and is becoming a well-known hopeful among the UF coaching staff.

Thompson, who grew up in Gainesville as a Gator fan, had an impressive evening at the eminent college football recruiting showcase, inching ever closer to an offer from his favorite school.

With offers from Florida Atlantic, Marshall, Massachusetts and Utah, Thompson is awaiting an offer from Florida, but says the Gators do have him in their sights.

“The UF coaching staff is keeping a close eye on me and they say I am on the top of their board right now,” Thompson said.

Thompson shined when pressed upon, going one-on-one with the defensive backs Friday. The speedy receiver, who was a Sun first-team all-area selection in both track & field and football, caught a long pass from Florida commit Max Staver in one of the night's many highlights.

“It was fun and there was a lot of intensity out there tonight. Everybody came out to compete really hard and get a good workout in,” Thompson said.

Thompson runs a 4.37-second 40-yard dash and his ability is no surprise to the Florida coaching staff. Both head coach Will Muschamp and offensive coordinator Brent Pease have offered their own respective advice to the Hurricanes receiver.

“I come up here every other day and all of the coaches, including coach Pease and coach Muschamp, let me know what I need to do, and I also get a chance to draw up routes and see how to better my game,” Thompson said.

“(The coaches) give me pointers on physical things I need to work on like catching away from my body, using more of my hands — these are things I have been practicing routinely this offseason.”

Thompson also hopes to add what he has learned to his senior season, as the Hurricanes enter the 2012 campaign as one of the preseason favorites to go far in the state playoffs. Last season, Thompson had a team-high 37 catches for 814 receiving yards and six touchdowns to help GHS reach the regional finals.

“I feel pretty good about my senior season, especially after all of this practice and competition I have been getting this offseason — I feel we can take it all the way to state,” Thompson said.

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