West Virginia Football: Jordan Thompson Looking to Lead


It will be a new look for the West Virginia receiving corps this season. Even though it will be relatively new, there are still some familiar faces within the bunch. One face is Jordan Thompson or “Squirt” — a nickname given to him by his teammates.

Thompson is in his fourth season with the Mountaineers. Last season was easily Thompson’s best year as he reeled in 49 passes for 598-yards and two touchdowns (the first two of his career). On his career, he’s amassed 84 catches for 858-yards and two touchdowns.

Being in his fourth year, Thompson considers himself a veteran on the team. He’s been around long enough to know what head coach Dana Holgorsen and company are looking for. The receiving corps will feature a lot of young, up-and-coming players. Thompson wants to play the role of leader and help these younger guys.

Aug 30, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Jordan Thompson (10) makes a catch against Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Bradley Sylve (3) during the third quarter of the 2014 Chick-fil-a kickoff game at Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

“Being a leader, that’s my big thing coming into this year,” Thompson said. “Being a leader for the young guys, being a leader for my team, just so we can improve and have that leadership role.”

Even though Thompson has been through three seasons — he still has a lot of work to do in order to prove himself. Now that spring practices are in full swing, the mindset amongst Thompson and his fellow receivers is focusing on the competition — vying for playing time and a spot on the roster.

Thompson says he’s maintaining a positive attitude, but understands anyone can be watching from the sidelines should they underperform during the spring and summer.

“No one is safe right now,” Thompson said. “There’s just a lot of competition right now. Just having the determination of getting better and the will to succeed and know what it takes. I know what it takes (by) going into my fourth year.”

Thompson acknowledged that through his three seasons at West Virginia, he’s seen many terrific receivers emerge from the program. Players such as Tavon Austin, Steadman Bailey and even last year’s Kevin White and Mario Alford.

He says that these guys are perfect examples to follow and that seeing them find success has allowed him to recognize what it takes to be a top-notch receiver in the Big 12.

“I’ve seen many greats come through here,” he said. “I’ve seen what they’ve been doing and what I need to do in order to get to that level.”

One of the areas Thompson needs to focus on is his route running. He’s a small receiver and doesn’t really posses the ability to go up and get balls like White did last season. He needs to be technically sound and use his speed to come up with catches and big-time plays.

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“I feel like consistency is just another issue I need to work on,” Thompson said. “Just route running, where I got to stay flat on certain routes and stuff. Just little aspects there.”

Route running and technical areas will be tweaked over the course of the spring and summer, but Thompson also said that it’s about having the mental side of things as well. He said that one of the biggest differences he saw in White from his first season at West Virginia to last year was how his mindset changed.

“What I saw from him (White) from first year to last year was confidence,” Thompson said. “First year, he was kind of hesitant, he wasn’t really trusting everything, he wasn’t using his body as he had.”

“Going into his second year he knew, ‘I need to be the man,’ and he showed it on the field and even in practice he showed it. That’s something I took from Kevin (White), his work ethic.”

This will be Thompson’s final season, and it’s his last chance to make a lasting impression with West Virginia. With Holgorsen on the look out to see who will step up and fill the shoes of the now NFL bound White and Alford, maybe Thompson plays the head honcho wide receiver.

“I got a sense of urgency, this is my last year, I got to make a big impact,” Thompson said. “Not just for myself, but for the team so we can succeed. It’s crazy how time flies.”