At the end of a slow news day for Florida came a piece of good news for Jim McElwain: the Gators’ relatively thin running backs stable will get a boost in 2016.
JUCO RB Mark Thompson (Wyncote, PA/Dodge City Community College) has committed to Florida, about three weeks after receiving an offer. Thompson also held offers from Alabama, Louisville, Arizona State, Kansas State and Texas A&M. So for all those fans grumbling about Florida not landing the top talent… here you go.
Thompson stands 6’2, 230 lbs., which is pretty much ideal for a JUCO tailback. He also runs a 4.37 40 yard dash, meaning he has a little more to provide than just being used as a bowling ball. He has good awareness and isn’t a bad blocker to boot, meaning he could see some real action in Gainesville, if in spots.
Credit to running backs coach Tim Skipper for this one- Skipper served as Thompson’s primary recruiter, and basically did everything other than extend the actual offer. Thompson is the first commit in this class that isn’t from the state of Florida, and so it’s nice to be able to establish to out of state kids that hailing from the Sunshine State isn’t a prerequisite for committing to UF. More importantly, Florida needed a running back in the Class of 2016, and Skipper flew north to Pennsylvania and grabbed a good one.