ShareThis Page

WVU freshman receiver earns starting bid

| Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012, 11:14 p.m.
West Virginia freshman wide receiver Jordan Thompson makes a catch during a recent practice. (WVU)
West Virginia freshman wide receiver Jordan Thompson makes a catch during a recent practice. (WVU)
West Virginia freshman wide receiver Jordan Thompson runs a route during a recent practice. (WVU)
West Virginia freshman wide receiver Jordan Thompson runs a route during a recent practice. (WVU)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Upon first glance, West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen tempered his enthusiasm about freshman wideout Jordan Thompson.

Big mistake.

Since their first encounter in the spring, Holgorsen's expectations have been raised substantially.

Thompson, in fact, impressed his coach to the extent that he will be a starter for Saturday's noon opener against Marshall at Milan Puskar Stadium.

“If you would have had me rank Jordan with the rest of the receivers that came in and judge them 1-5, what I thought their speed was, I probably would have been wrong,” Holgorsen said.

Thompson, it appears, is a fast learner as well as a fast runner.

He enrolled at WVU in January, so he was able to acclimate himself to his new surroundings and get ready for spring drills.

“He adjusted to the speed of the game,” Holgorsen said. “A lot of it had to do with being here in the spring, learning things, understanding where to go and how to get there. He's a definite starter.”

After familiarizing himself with the offense, Thompson went about learning his role.

“The key thing was how to grow up fast in order to get playing time as a freshman,” said Thompson, who, at 5-foot-7, 164 pounds, averaged a touchdown every 3.9 receptions en route to 17 TDs as a senior at Katy (Texas) High School. “People usually think (freshmen) are too immature, they're still developing, young. I knew that was what most coaches thought, and I needed to show I can develop really fast.”

Surrounded by talented wideouts Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, Thompson eased into a supporting role seamlessly.

Stationed inside, he figures to find open spaces as defenses converge on WVU's veteran receivers.

“Stedman and Tavon are the two biggest playmakers in the nation,” Thompson said. “You know (defenses) are going to be keying them. Knowing that they know that, I'm going to have opportunities to make plays. I'm just going to have to execute.”

Austin, a converted running back, said Thompson made a quicker transition to college ball than he did.

“He already had it,” Austin said. “He played wide receiver his whole life. He knew how to find coverages, sit in the hole, stuff like that. He'll definitely be OK.”

Despite his fast start, Thompson said things aren't as easy as he's making them appear. For Saturday's opener, for instance. Thompson freely admits to having freshman jitters.

“My first college game, I'm going to be nervous,” he said. “Once I get that first snap underneath me, I'll probably be fine. I'm a smarter player now, more comfortable with the playbook. The more reps I get, the more comfortable I become.”

John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.