"I am not going to redshirt next year"

"I am not going to redshirt next year"

It's been a busy month for Madison standout running back Chris Thompson. In early January the speedy back took part in the UnderArmour All-American game, and last weekend the Seminole commitment made his official visit to Florida State. NoleDigest talked to Chris about the visit and to get an idea of what fans can expect from him next year.

When any list of electrifying running backs in Florida is accumulated Chris Thompson is a recruit that needs to be at the top of the list. The 2A Player of the Year was in Orlando earlier this month to participate in the 2nd annual UnderArmour All-American game. While he didn't get a chance to touch the ball in the game Chris felt privileged to take part in the game.

"It was pretty good down in Orlando even though I didn't get the chance to carry the ball," said Thompson on his week at the All-Star game. "Just getting a chance to be down there, meeting different players and playing against them, was great. My ankles didn't really bother me too much, and the coaches said I practiced very well all week. It was just a good time all around."

Chris was one of the recruits who committed very early because he knew where he wanted to go for college. After numerous unofficial visits over the past year Chris was in town last weekend to make his official visit. On the docket for Thompson was getting a chance to sit down with Florida State running backs coach Dexter Carter.

"Mainly I wanted to get a chance to talk to Dexter Carter about the running back position," Thompson said, "and to see where I fit in. Also I just wanted to see what it's like being a student at Florida State. I've been to the games and all, but I didn't know what it was like going there. Jermaine Thomas was my host, and he was telling me how the freshman year can be hard because you're getting used to it. He said the coaches will let you play if you come in ready."

"Coach Carter was telling me that he wants to find at least 3 running backs to use for the rotation," continued Thompson. "He said he really wants to have a backfield that has 3 guys or so that bring it. He was telling me his expectations as a player. He wants me to know the playbook; he said that's the toughest part for young players. He was also telling me about how they want to use me primarily at running back, but that in certain formations they want to get me in the slot to use my versatility."

Overall the visit was the same as an unofficial visit for Chris, except that he was able to go more in-depth with the things he saw, especially with academics.

"Pretty much this visit was the same as I've been on but it was more in-depth as far as going around campus," stated Thompson. "It was a lot bigger than I expected. With the academics we had a talk about what it's like as a student. They showed us a schedule of a freshman to give us an example. I was talking to an advisor and they said that my core classes are taken care of and that I'm good to go academically."

With Jermaine Thomas, Ty Jones and Tavares Pressley already on the roster for 2009, along with Lonnie Pryor coming in the fall, some have pegged Chris as a candidate for a redshirt. According to him that is not the case. While he may not get a ton of carries, the coaches are looking for Chris to contribute in different areas.

"I'm not going to redshirt next year," stated Thompson, "and I am going to work hard until then to be ready. I expect myself to come in and play early. Coach Bowden was telling me that they only have one return man in Bert Reed coming back and that they will play me immediately at kick and punt returner. I just want to contribute to the team any way I can."

Thompson told NoleDigest that the visit was more than he expected and that he is excited to sign the dotted line next week on Signing Day.

"The visit was great and it was more than I expected," said Thompson. "Just seeing what it is all about instead of just the game was the best. Seeing the everyday life of a player was great to see. I can't wait to sign next week and I am going to work as hard as I can to be ready to play in the fall."

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