It didn’t take Guyer defensive lineman Carl Thompson long to make his college commitment official.
A morning trip to Lawrence, Kansas, with his father ended with an evening trip back to Denton after the senior committed to Kansas on Thursday afternoon, choosing the Jayhawks over a list of 18 Football Bowl Subdivision offers from schools including Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, Connecticut, Northwestern and Minnesota.
Oral commitments are nonbinding. The first day a class of 2015 recruit can sign a national letter of intent is Feb. 4.
“I had decided before [visiting Thursday], but then when I saw everything, it just felt right,” Thompson said. “I liked the facilities and I talked to academic advisers, and they feel like they can help me a lot to get good grades and also focus on football.”
Thompson is the second Guyer defensive starter to commit to a Big 12 school this week, following safety Jordan Wallace, who committed to Iowa State on Monday.
“It’s on TV a lot here, and the Big 12 has sold that to all of the kids,” said Guyer head coach John Walsh, whose son, J.W., is the starting quarterback at Oklahoma State. “The Big 12 is also a place where parents can go drive and watch their kids. I went up there [to Lawrence] and watched J.W. play, and it’s a beautiful campus in a great town.”
Thompson has bulked up considerably since the beginning of his junior season. Despite missing all of spring football while recovering from surgery, he said he hit the weight room and was able to put on 25 pounds of muscle, meaning he’ll enter his senior season at an impressive 6-3, 265 pounds at defensive tackle.
Thompson said the Kansas coaches, including assistant head coach for defense and former Cowboys head coach Dave Campo, told him he would be able to move around the defensive line — at tackle and end.
“The coaches said I’ll play everything on the defensive line,” Thompson said. “It’s exciting to know. I can just find the ball and get to it that way.”
Thompson has started 32 games over the past two seasons, anchoring a two-time state champion defense, and comes off a strong junior season that saw him tally 86 tackles, with 44 behind the line of scrimmage. He had eight sacks and used his long arms to break up 11 passes and intercept two.
“His athletic ability is what stands out to everyone,” Walsh said. “Just his quickness and ability to move in the trenches and never be blocked. I think he’s gotten so much stronger going into his senior year. When he couples this elite strength he’s put together with his athletic ability, he’ll be one of the best in Texas.”
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872 and via Twitter at @aboedeker.