GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Three-star wide receiver Chris Thompson's life-long dream has been to attend the University of Florida. After a tireless and stressful offseason, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound athlete from Gainesville (Fla.) High School finally earned his Florida scholarship offer and promptly committed to his dream school
Thompson, who pledged on July 30, said the opportunity to play for the Gators was well worth the wait.
"I feel relieved," Thompson said. "I'm just relieved that I made the decision and now I don't have to worry about it anymore. I showed them that I work hard and I like to compete. They liked that I like to compete, so they offered me because of my hard work."
Now that his commitment is out of the way, Thompson has turned his focus on improving his game for his senior season. Thompson has always been known for his speed, and at the FAU football camp over the summer, he ran a 40-yard-dash in 4.37 seconds. The talented pass-catcher said he wants to broaden his game and become more than just a deep threat.
"I've worked on my route-running this offseason," Thompson said. "I worked on getting on top of my route and getting out of my breaks. I've been doing some extra things like cone drills with a personal trainer, just extra things to help me stay balanced."
Gainesville head coach James Thomson has noticed his star receiver's work ethic and thinks it will pay dividends in the fall.
"He's unbelievable man," Thomson said of his senior receiver. "He's somebody that doesn't miss practice and doesn't complain. He's somebody that we can count on. He's a good leader and good senior. It's really him just being dedicated and putting in the work on his own. He just works on his own and perfects his craft. He's just a professional about it, and it's something that I admire about him."
As a junior Thompson accounted for 814 receiving yards and six touchdowns on only 32 receptions. But Thomson thinks his wideout will have a much better year because of the work he has put in.
"When he lines up, you've got to defend him deep, because he'll burn you deep," Thomson said. "He's so fast. He's got such good control of his body going full speed, which most receivers don't. If I was playing against Chris I would respect the deep ball first. After that his route-running has gotten so much better from the end of last year until this year. I think you'll see a lot of intermediate routes with him and he'll have a lot more catches this year."
Thompson admits he's not big on personal stats but said he has only two goals for the upcoming season.
"I want to get to that 1,000-yard mark," he said, "and win a state championship. I think we can do both."