South Carolina landed a commitment on Wednesday afternoon from Bryce Thompson, one of the best players in the Columbia area.
Thompson began his career at Dutch Fork High School in Irmo. After playing his sophomore and junior seasons at Columbia’s Ben Lippen School, he transferred back to Dutch Fork as a senior.
The 3-star athlete rushed for 1,392 yards with 28 touchdowns and tallied over 600 yards receiving and 6 scores this past season, capping it with a strong showing in a 5A state championship victory over Dorman at Williams-Brice Stadium.
RELATED: Thompson commits to South Carolina
To go along with his 136-yard rushing performance, Thompson had a 72-yard punt return for touchdown and a 25-yard run to pay dirt.
“He does a little bit of everything. He understands the game really well. I think he can play receiver, I think he can play DB and maybe be another level guy after college,” Ben Lippen coach Derek White said, nearly a year ago.
“I think his height, weight, explosion, ball skills, translate to the NFL.”
At South Carolina, Thompson is likely to begin his career on the defensive side of the ball, either as a cornerback or nickel back.
Wide receiver, where he’s playing this week in the Shrine Bowl, is another a possibility. He could also factor into the equation as a kickoff and punt returner.
Dutch Fork coach Tom Knotts, who’s one of the most widely-respected high school football coaches in the Carolinas, told The State newspaper that Thompson is the best player he’s coached during his 37 years of work.
“Bryce can do anything,” Knotts said. “In addition to his abundance of talent, he has a determination that is unmatched by any player I have ever coached. Everybody says they want to win and got the will to win, Bryce is determined. He is the most determined player I ever coached. He is not going to be denied.”
SEC Country scouting report
Most of the in-person looks over the last 10 months were of Thompson playing on the offensive side of the ball, and he was always one of the most impressive performers, if not the most.
During the camp circuit last spring, he tore it up as a wide receiver.
Thompson was one of the top performers at the Rivals stop in Charlotte, where he was virtually uncoverable. His followed that up with what pretty much amounted to a repeat performance when The Opening made its annual stop in the Queen City.
Fast-forward to the summer, when Thompson visited for multiple Will Muschamp Football Camp sessions. He worked out on both sides of the ball, but received extra attention from defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson, who’s long-viewed him as a nickel back and/or cornerback.
This week, during Shrine Bowl practice, Thompson is playing wide receiver.
Just as he’s done in camp settings during the summer and on Friday nights during the fall, Thompson has looked like a fluid, natural pass-catcher. Out of the slot, he’s lethal. Working as a jet-sweep and motion-man, he’s pretty darn solid.
Assuming defensive back is where Thompson ends up, the Gamecocks can get the best of both worlds by also having him work as a kickoff and punt returner.
Bryce Thompson, on paper
Rated as a mid-level 3-star, Thompson could easily out-play his recruiting rating, but he’ll have to maintain his drive in the classroom, to maximize his opportunity.
That drive was virtually non-existent during his first few years as a high school student, so kudos to him for making the necessary strides, so he could put himself in this position. As long as motivation in the classroom isn’t an issue, South Carolina fans will be pleased with what they see on the field.
Based on this week’s conversation with SEC Country, it’s probably safe to assume that he’ll continue to show a little bit of effort that way. Knotts’ thoughts about Thompson’s not-to-be-denied mentality probably speak to his will to make the grade.
The post What South Carolina is getting in 3-star ATH Bryce Thompson appeared first on SEC Country.
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