Last week, the Redskins signed Indiantown, Florida native, Jason Thompson, as an undrafted college free agent. The wide receiver had an incredibly productive collegiate career at the University of New Haven.
Now before you go saying, ‘So what? I’ve never heard of New Haven’. Let us tell you a little bit about the school and Thompson’s story.
“The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education which enrolls”…just kidding. We’re not taking you on a guided tour of the campus. Simply put, we’re here to talk football.
Fact is that, yes, the University of New Haven participates in Division II athletics. But don’t let that information deter you and bear with us for a moment.
Thompson provides a big-bodied frame at 6’3”. Although he’s a little wiry at only 190 pounds, he demonstrates great leaping ability and possesses the talent to go up and grab the ball at its highest point; something any level of quarterback can appreciate.
How else could Thompson account for 132 receptions for 2,511 yards and 36 touchdowns? These are numbers that are impressive at any level of competition.
Here’s a small glimpse into Thompson’s highlight reel career:
So what do you think?
Before you go passing judgment, remember that wide receiver Pierre Garçon played at Division III Mount Union before breaking out as a number one wide out in the NFL. How about Redskins 80th great wide receiver Gary Clark? Clark was a standout receiver for Division I-AA James Madison University. What about wide receiver Ricky Sanders? Sanders attended Texas State University which at the time still participated in Division II athletics (1980s).
Beyond the Redskins, remember a certain Hall of Fame receiver named Jerry Rice? You guessed it. Rice entered the NFL by way of Mississippi Valley State.
Point is that a player coming from a smaller, more unknown school should not determine whether or not he’s capable of producing at a high level in the NFL. It’s more about the players’ skillset and personal ability to make the transition, maybe even more so at wide receiver than any other position on the field.
We’re not saying nor predicting that Thompson will have a career similar to the players mentioned above. Matter of fact is that very few players do. Nonetheless, he is an intriguing prospect to watch should he earn a spot on the team’s training camp roster.
Sometimes all a player needs is a chance and a system that fits their skillset.
Tags: college free agent, jason thompson, thompson
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