TAMPA – Plant made an impressive push to the Class 7A state final this past season and running back Ty Thompson played an integral part in it.
The Panthers finished with a 13-1 record, but fell victim to St. Thomas Aquinas 45-6 as the Raiders captured their third straight state title (STORY).
On the season, Thompson rushed 89 times for 827 yards and nine touchdowns. He also caught four passes for 33 yards.
He’s a 2018 prospect who stands at 6’1″, 215 lbs. Prior to his junior year, Thompson combined for just 14 rushing attempts for 199 yards and one touchdown. He’s suited up for the varsity team since freshman year.
He called his junior campaign an awesome one. Playing alongside senior quarterback and Virginia Tech commit Dane Frantzen certainly helped Thompson do damage.
“I think have a running quarterback really opened our offense up a lot because teams were confused if he would run, throw or hand it off to me,” Thompson told Prep Sports Scouting. “I learned to stay patient.”
Thompson started playing football and soccer at an early age. He says he didn’t start playing any skill positions on the football field until middle school. He always wanted to be a quarterback, but he loves running back.
He’s a three-sport athlete, who also run tracks at Plant. Thompson says he got more serious with football when he started practicing it a lot more than soccer a year ago.
Thompson alluded to his size and speed as his biggest strengths. He’s looking to get under his pads a little bit more this season.
The rising senior added four 100-yard rushing performances including an impressive four weeks where he combined for 433 rushing yards and five touchdowns between Armwood, Wharton, Sickles and Gaither.
Thompson currently has six offers on his table: Toledo, Middle Tennessee State, USF, Central Arkansas, Arkansas State and South Dakota.
He gets to play for a true leader in head coach Robert Weiner. Entering his 14th year at Plant, Weiner has led the Panthers to four state championships (2006, 2008, 2009, 2011).
“Playing for Coach Weiner is definitely a blessing and I wouldn’t play anywhere else. Coach is like my best friend and dad,” Thompson said. “He’s an awesome person to look up to which I do. I would do anything for him and I know he would do the same. I have learned from him to not just to be the average person but be great, be more than great. That includes being the best you not only in football but in life or anything you do.”
Getting the chance to showcase his game as a running back and sub-package defender, Thompson loves playing at Dad’s stadium.
“It’s an awesome experience,” he said. “My favorite things are the fans and the band, they absolutely help us in the games a lot.”
Former NFL player Brad Culpepper, who spent nine seasons in the NFL (1992-2000) between Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Chicago is someone Thompson looks up to.
“I have to say one of my biggest role models is Brad Culpepper. He is someone who has done everything like playing in college and the NFL and still having a successful career,” Thompson said. “I have been best friends with Judge Culpepper, his son for a long time so nice it’s nice to have Mr. Culpepper to look up to.”
Thompson’s plan with football is to have fun and have a great time because he says you never know what can happen. He’s still figuring out what he’ll study in college.
For now, he’s aiming to improve off his breakout junior season. Thompson has very nice size and I fully expect him to be the vocal point of the offense with confidence under his belt. His leadership is evident on and off the field. He should make a steady impact once again for 7A contenders Plant.
Spring jamboree: Thursday, May 18 (Plant, Robinson at Jefferson, 6:30 PM)
Favorite players to watch – Peyton Manning
Favorite movies – Braveheart and Gladiator
Favorite TV shows – Bates Motel
Fun fact about you that nobody knows – “I can sing.”
Game film: Thompson’s Hudl tape
Jake Perper is the founder of Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.