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A great student with great character are a couple of ways to describe Kingston’s Woody Thompson. A couple more ways are a great athlete with a great work ethic.
That total package was something that didn’t miss the eye of John Bland and last Thursday the University of the Cumberlands head football coach was in Kingston to sign Thompson to an athletic scholarship.
“We recruit from Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio,” Bland added. “The first thing we look for is players with great character, not players that are characters. We feel that building a program on good people is our number one selling point and Woody is a good kid that will represent his family well.”
“I can’t really describe how I’m feeling; I’m just really excited right now,” Thompson said after signing to play with the Patriots.
”We’re all excited for Woody,” Kingston head coach Vic King added. “He’s a good boy with a good family. He’ll make a great addition to their program.”
While Thompson’s character was something Bland and the Patriots coaching staff looked for, it was his ability on the football field that eventually landed him a scholarship.
“Woody’s got talent,” Bland said. “He’s got good speed and he’s played both ways. That will help him find a way to get on the field faster.”
“Woody was one of our most explosive players this year,” King added. “He’s got really good speed and he understands the game.”
Thompson was equally effective as a receiver and defensive back during his time at Kingston and Thompson believes he has strengths on both sides of the ball.
“I’ve been timed at 4.5 (40-yard dash) and I know my speed helps,” he said. “But as I receiver I think my route running ability helps a lot. I think I run pretty good routes. On defense, I can usually read the offense really well and I try to communicate that with the other defensive backs.
“Hopefully being able to play offense or defense will help me get playing time earlier.”
Another thing that determines playing time for Thompson will be how fast he adjusts to the speed of the college game and college life in general.
“It’s different,” said Coach King who played at the University of Kentucky. “In high school, it’s more fun and games, but in college it’s business. You have to learn to budget your time, but Woody’s got a good work ethic and I know he’ll do fine.”
Thompson plans on doing his part by being in the best possible physical shape for the start of practice in August.
“I’m going to hit the weight room hard and do a lot of conditioning,” Thompson said.