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WSU Football Recruiting: Olito Thompson, record-setting RB from California, becomes latest commit

James Snook-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

I feel like every time I go on vacation or leave for the weekend, someone commits as soon as I leave the house. When Mrs. Kyle and I were in Florida last year, three guys committed in the span of two days. This weekend, we drove down to Lacey to check out my future in-law's new digs. As soon as I sat down on the couch with a rum & coke in hand, the e-mail notification on my phone goes off telling me we've landed another new commit.


According to CF.C, Olito Thompson has committed to Mike Leach and the Washington State Cougars. Thompson becomes the 11th or 12th commit, depending on if you believe Ivan McLennon is actually, like, for serious, committed. I don't, so for now, we'll call Thompson the 11th commit for the Class of 2013. If McLennan is still committed in December, I'll give him his very own evaluation post. Until then, let's take a closer look at the 11th player to pledge his allegiances to the crimson and gray.*

* I spelled it grAy for you jerks this time. APPRECIATE IT.

Now, the first video is probably not the best quality, and it shows him playing defense more than offense. If you want to watch a great video, you can check out his Hudl video here. That's the video I'd highly recommend watching.

I came away thoroughly impressed with Thompson for a number of reasons, and his eye-popping, absolutely ridiculous statistics weren't one of them (ok, they were so insane that I was impressed). While it's certainly awesome to have a commit who broke the Northern California rushing record with a whopping 3,488 rushing yards (on 408 carries for a laughable 8.55 YPC) to go along with 34 TDs, his stats are a bit misleading. Thompson didn't play against All-World competition at Concord HS, and while that certainly doesn't account for that many yards, it doesn't hurt, either. Basically, just don't look at those statistics and envision the best RB in the nation.

Scout has Thompson's 40 time listed at 4.5, and if we've learned anything about Scout listing 40 times, it's that we should basically ignore them completely. While Thompson isn't slow by any means, I don't think he's anywhere near 4.5 (also, only listing 4.5 instead of 4.59 or whatever it is bothers me, but that's another conversation for another day). Having said that, Thompson does a handful of things really, really well, making up for his lack of elite speed.

Thompson reads his blocks incredibly well and shows the patience of a much older player. A few times, he could have hit the hole, gained 5 or 10 more yards, and called it good. Instead, he stayed behind his blocker (almost pushing the lineman) and allowed him to occupy the next defender. After that, he exploded down the line for a long TD. Another positive is how he carries the ball. One subtle but important thing for a RB to do is to switch the ball to his outside arm -- the one closest to the sideline -- in order to help eliminate the ball being stripped out. Not many high schoolers do this, as high school is more about simply being a better athlete than the guy across from you. Thompson does this on every play.

The one thing that kind of scares me about Thompson is how he fits in this offense. Mike Leach loves the quicker, shifty scat-back type of guy who catches the ball well out of the backfield. Thompson caught only 10 passes all of last year. I'm not saying he can't do it, I'm just saying he hasn't really shown it yet. It could simply be a product of his offense in high school, so it's not a deal breaker or anything, but it's a concern at this juncture.

Switching gears a bit, it's always good when other people who follow recruiting are disappointed we landed a player they wanted. If you don't follow ManBearCal, I suggest you do so. He writes for California Golden Blogs, and he's basically their version of me. Handsome. Witty. Recruiting analyst. You know, those types of things. Anyways, he had this to say upon hearing about Thompson's commitment:

So while Scout says his other offers are from Arizona, San Jose State, and Utah, it's good to know schools like Cal had their eye on him, too. I was going to suggest starting an LOL U MAD, CAL? meme, but then I remembered Cedric Dozier and Kenny Lawler and now I haz the sadz.

Actually guys, after thinking more about it more, this entire evaluation is probably moot. Mike Leach basically only recruits wide receivers. OLITO THOMPSON IS BEING MOVED TO WR! MOAR RECEIVERS PLZ!


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