California WR Gets Second Offer and New Looks

California WR Gets Second Offer and New Looks

BYU is no longer the only university to offer this talented California LDS wide receiver, and it looks like this under-the-radar recruit may soon no longer be a hidden gem.

BYU was the first to offer Oak Ridge High School wide receiver Brett Thompson, but it won't be the last. The 6-foot-3-inch, 195-pound receiver has recently received his second scholarship offer and appears to be on the verge of receiving more.

"UNLV just offered me," said Thompson. "Coach Sanford and one of his assistants came down and they offered me a full-ride scholarship. I had a friend whose brother was a quarterback at UNLV. I've been to a couple of UNLV's games and they seem like they like to throw the ball around a lot. As a receiver, that's what you love of course. Other than that I don't really know too much about UNLV. Their coaches seem really nice and they've told me that they think I could fit really well in their system. I'll look into it as far as going on a recruiting trip there."

Other schools showing recent recruiting interest include Vanderbilt, Boston College and Georgia Tech.

"I got a letter from Vanderbilt University that said for me to call them," Thompson said. "I called them and they said I was going to be one of their top recruits for the class of ‘09. Boston College has been sending me a lot of letters and [is] showing a lot of interest in me. Georgia Tech is another school that has been sending me a lot of letters and is now showing a lot of interest.

The Pac-10 is also showing a lot of interest in Thompson.

"A couple of coaches came down to my school and I wasn't supposed to talk to them but basically bumped into them," said Thompson. "It was a coach from USC and a coach from Washington State. I don't remember the name of the USC coach, but he came down and talked to my coach. He gave them my highlight film and I've been getting a lot of letters from them. So there is some interest from a lot of schools from back east and also the Pac-10: USC, Washington State, Oregon, Cal and UCLA. Cal and UCLA have shown me interest and have been sending me letters, but they haven't come to my school like USC and Washington State."

Having a scholarship offer from BYU to play at his church's college is something Thompson said he is really excited about.

"I don't really know how to describe it because it was kind of overwhelming," said Thompson. "I got my offer pretty early in my career, but it kind of just made me want to work harder. I know that top colleges are recruiting me, but I just had to put that in the back of my mind. All that it did was make me want to work harder and hopefully get some more scholarships. It became a time when I realized I had to take things a little more serious. This is the real deal."

With BYU having one of the most comprehensive recruiting evaluation processes of any college university, Thompson understands that it takes more than just being a good football player to even be considered for an offer to join the Cougar program.

"I went up to BYU during Junior Day and I have to say that it was one of the best experiences I've ever had," said Thompson. "That's a school that is not just about football. I remember Coach Mendenhall saying how the things you do off the field [are] far more important than the things you do on the field. I think the program gets their strength from the things they do off the field for people and the community. I think that is something that is very important. He said that football was high priority, but that it was really only a priority in order to allow us to achieve greater things."

So what does Thompson think about Coach Mendenhall's philosophy of using football as a vehicle in order to achieve greater things?

"In my mind that's the most important thing to me," said Thompson. "I want to be something more than just a great football player. I want to be in a program that helps you develop to become a greater person. I want to be the best I can be not only in football, but also as a human being. I want to be an example to everyone that's around me. I want to do what I can so people can see that I'm going to do the right thing not only on the field but off the field."

The developing of character, achieving a GPA standard, engaging in community service, organizing firesides, having leadership councils, and honoring the less fortunate every week through the "Thursday's Heroes" program are some of the things that makes BYU's program unique, and Thompson recognizes that.

"Yeah, it is a unique program," Thompson said. "It's probably the only program that doesn't put football first. I remember during Junior Day, they talked more about how they can build the program to help other people. It seemed to me like that was their main goal and that football gave them the opportunity to accomplish those things. By doing things off the field, the program has become successful on the field, which is a different approach. That's something I look forward to at BYU in what they do. It's what makes BYU unique about their football team."

In speaking of BYU, the Thompson family is very close to the family of BYU wide receiver Austin Collie.

"Yeah, I'm really good friends with the Collies," said Thompson. "My brother is really good friends with Austin. [My brother is] on his mission now, but he played for the University of Hawaii for a year. They were really good friends growing up. Our families are really good friends and I'm good friends with Austin's sister.

"If you look at a person who is just an all-around great athlete, strong in the Church and does things right, Austin is that person. He's someone that I definitely look up to. He's a player and does things right both on and off the field."

Because of his relationship with the Collie family, Thompson has had the privilege of receiving information and advice about BYU, recruiting, and how to better develop his football skills.

"Yeah, Austin's dad [Scott Collie] gives me tips on how to stand and about how to handle the whole recruiting process," said Thompson. "Both of his sons were recruited and he's given me tips on what to say and what not to say.

Scott Collie, the father of Austin and former BYU wide receiver Zac Collie, played his college football at BYU and moved on to the USFL and then to the NFL, where he played with the 49ers.

"[Scott has] also given me hints on what to ask and how to be a better receiver," said Thompson. "The Collies have been a huge help to me."

Thompson has also spoken to his good friend Austin - who at one time held multiple Pac-10 offers - about BYU.

"[Austin] told me that there is nothing like BYU," said Thompson. "He said that BYU is just an all-around school and there is nothing better out there that you could want. He said it was a school where everything just feels right: all the fans, the atmosphere, developing as a football player and as a person. He just said it's just an awesome experience that you can't find anywhere else, and he said he really likes it at BYU. It's just an awesome place."

Thompson will visit BYU's spring camp at about the same time as quarterback recruit Jake Heaps.

"I'm going to another camp down in Las Vegas," Thompson said. "After that I'm going to head on down to BYU for their spring football camp. So I'll be heading out there that week."

Thompson also attended the Army All-American Camp that featured some of the top junior prospects in the country. Although he felt he wasn't quite ready to compete in the camp, Thompson fared well.

"I did really good even though it was the weekend right after basketball season," Thompson said. "I didn't have time to prepare to get my form down. I just kind of went there and did my raw time. My vertical was a 32" or a 33". They had two clocks there and I ran the forty in 4.59 and 4.63, and they just kind of take the average of that. In the shuttle I ran a 4.13. I did the bench press 12 times with 225. I haven't done my one-rep max, so that's kind of up in the air. It's the same with squats, and [I] haven't done a one-rep max. That was basically it, and then we did the one-on-one competition."

Thompson faired well in the testing aspect of the camp for wide receivers, but it was his performance during the one-on-one drills where he feels he truly shined.

"I think this is where I performed the best during the camp," Thompson said. "I feel I had a strong showing and was able to perform really well against some really good competition. I'm really glad I went because I was able to show what I could do and I also learned a lot because they had some really good seminars there."

Thompson talked about his upcoming senior year and beyond, and what he hopes to accomplish.

"I just want to have a really good senior season of football," said Thompson. "I'm just preparing myself for this final year and I'm also preparing myself for the next level. I really want to be a leader for my high school team and look to carry that over onto the college level. I'm working hard on building a solid foundation so I can be prepared for the competition that I'll face at the college level. I think I have that now."

Thompson also has mission plans.

"What I want to do is play football for one semester," he said. "Then after that I want to go and serve my mission."

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