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Bellarmine’s Josh Thompson is determined to be the best at everything he does.
Thompson – a junior receiver, tight end and defensive back for the Bells – has watched others mold themselves into elite high school football players and elite student-athletes beyond the high school game. He’s seen how they’ve achieved greatness.
And he wants to do the same.
“For me, it’s more that I know football is, if you go to college for football you’re self made,” Thompson said. “The hard work comes from inside, and for me just seeing others work hard and a desire to get the next level has motivated me to where I am today.”
Sports were always around Thompson growing up, instilling a competitive fire to be No. 1 right from the start of his life.
But football was not always his first love.
Instead, Thompson wasn’t allowed to play football early on. His mother is a nurse, so he couldn’t strap on the helmet and pads until he was transitioning into high school.
So, basketball and baseball were his sports as a youngster, but once he was able to play football, that was it. Football was what he was going to do, and he was going to do everything in his power to make the most of the opportunity at hand.
“I stopped all of those to focus on football because I felt that was where I could best apply my skills, and that came a lot from playing DT (Deliberate Training) over last summer,” Thompson said. “A lot of that came from realizing that I’m about to put in a lot of work, and I know that this will happen for me. I’ve just got to continue working, and that’s how I’ve changed.”
Thompson started as a tight end and wide receiver on the junior varsity squad and was one of the team’s leading receivers, showcasing his length – he’s now 6’2” and 180 pounds – and hands.
All of that has been boosted over the course of this offseason, clocking in a 4.95-second 40-yard dash time on the laser, along with strong showings at various showcases – the Best Coast Showcase, the National Preps Collegiate Showcase, the ProSport Combine and working with Deliberate Training.
“I’ve gained I think 30 pounds since the end of last season, and on the mental aspect there’s so much more now that people just don’t work in the time because they think that even if we don’t have a season they think that we have so much more time, and I think that having, not having a definite answer has definitely helped me work a lot harder because I know other kids aren’t, and I want to make up for that,” Thompson said.
The recruiting process has improved for Thompson, who is eager for his first varsity action and film during the upcoming season. Bellarmine assistant Brennan Ronald said Brown, Carleton College, De Anza College, Eastern Illinois, Puget Sound and the University of San Diego are some of the schools expressing interest or following Thompson on Twitter.
Boasting a 3.8 GPA, Thompson places a lot of importance on his academics for wherever he ends up collegiately, too.
“I’m looking for a football culture for sure, and I also stress a high amount of education,” Thompson said. “I want to do something as well as football, and I want it to be either probably business and I want a culture of good education, good football.”
With the season looming, Thompson has his eyes set high for a Bellarmine football program steeped in tradition and one that is looking to continue that legacy under the new staff.
“Goals for this season are, especially as a team, I think we can go undefeated, and it should be a goal to get that and to make that happen,” Thompson said. “For me personally it would be to do as much as possible and do as much as possible to get film and get good film for colleges too. That’s my goals.”
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