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Young De La Salle lineman turning heads

Derek Thompson was the Offensive Line MVP at the Bay Area Top 100 Showcase. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo
Derek Thompson was the Offensive Line MVP at the Bay Area Top 100 Showcase. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo

At the Xclusive Speed Bay Area Top 100 Showcase earlier this month, there was little opponents could do to get past Derek Thompson.

Thompson, a sophomore offensive guard at De La Salle, shined throughout the course of the morning for the second-ever Bay Area Top 100 Showcase and was selected by Giles Chapman and the coaching staff as the Offensive Line MVP.

“I just wanted to get some work in,” Thompson said. “I haven’t got work in a little bit. It’s just good to get out here, go against the best in NorCal.”

But football was not always Thompson’s only sport.

Instead, it was swimming. Thompson was in the pool until his growth gravitated him towards football and made him realize that was the sport for him.

“I used to swim back when I was in elementary school,” Thompson said. “That’s what my main sport was, and then I just picked up football and found out I was good at it. I was getting too heavy for swimming.”

The move has paid enormous dividends for Thompson, who is already turning heads with just one year complete and three more to go at one of the country’s most prestigious high school football programs.

Since his freshman year ended, Thompson has continually taken leaps in each area required to be a successful lineman.

All of the work was noticed by everyone in attendance at the Bay Area Top 100 Showcase, eking some of the region’s elite players up front for the MVP award along the offensive line.

“I’ve just been lifting a lot and been working on my footwork a lot,” Thompson said. “That’s the big key for me.”

Heading into his sophomore campaign, which is now slated for 2021, Thompson is preparing and hoping to bring some more notoriety to De La Salle football.

Each of the past four seasons have featured runs to the state championship game, including a defeat to national champion St. John Bosco – led by five-star recruit and current Clemson back quarterback DJ Uiagalelei – the CIF Open Division title game.

Thompson wants the Spartans to get back to the top and win their first state crown since 2015, when they won the Open Division over Centennial and finished as the nation’s No. 1 team in MaxPreps’ final national rankings.

And Thompson will provide an extra – and major – jolt to a frontline unit that paved the way for a rushing attack that averaged 8.6 yards per carry and ran for 280.3 yards per game in 2019 en route to De La Salle’s 28th consecutive North Coast Section crown. 

“That would mean everything,” Thompson said. “I’ve always wanted to go to De La Salle and just want to win a state championship with them.”


After the Bay Area Top 100 Showcase, Thompson went on social media and advocated for one of his competitors, Skyline’s Darius Fonteno, who won the Defensive Line MVP award, to be invited to a camp.

1 Comment

  1. VIctor Bennett on September 16, 2020 at 3:37 am

    What a great kid and football prospect. I heard his academics are also excellent. I hope Stanford & Cal will not let this local talent slip away to Southern Cal area.

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