April 6, 2020

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Diamond In The Rough: William Thomson

William Thomson is a 5’9 173 pound running back out of Holy Savior Menard High School based in Alexandria, Louisiana. Since starting his football career in elementary school, Thomson has seen and played just about every position on the field. From safety, to defensive line, back to his natural position at running back, Thomson has solidified his position as the swiss army knife of Menard High School. With his experience in all positions on the gridiron, Thomson has grown into an extremely versatile back. Not only will he line up in the backfield, waiting to use his keen vision to hit just the right gap and take it upfield, Thomson will also line up as wingback and slot back, catching passes to the outside or straight up the seam. On the defensive side of the field, Thomson can do some damage as well. Specifically at the safety position. Thomson’s vertical ability and speed allow him to get airborne, snag interceptions then take them the distance. Thomson can also play special teams. Kicking punts and field goals when called upon. You name it, Thomson can do it. With a 3.88 GPA and 1320 SAT, Thompson has figured out a way to excel in all facets of the game, as well as in the classroom. 

What sparked your interest in football? –

My father for sure. Since he played football throughout his high school career he has developed a keen eye for athletic ability. Once he noticed my abilities, he became insistent that I play sports at a very young age. Not only did he spark my interest in football but he was instrumental in my development as a player. He also was my head football coach at Our Lady of Prompt Succor and he also coached a little in junior high at Holy Savior Menard

Just based off your film you seem like a versatile all around back. What are all the positions you have played during your football career and out of all the positions you’ve played which position do you feel you excel at the most? –

Elementary to High school I have probably played every position besides lineman…..I take that back, I played defensive end but I’ve never played offensive line. The position I excel the most at I would probably be running back. I’m very instinctive and also have great hands so I feel that I’m an asset out of the backfield as well. I played soccer so I have quite the leg that can be useful at punter and kicker. I also feel very that I fundamentally sound at the safety position. I’m also not afraid to come downhill and hit.

Goodness that’s a lot. Well if you had to solidify yourself to one position that you would want to play moving out of high school what would it be? –

I would say safety. Like I said I can come downhill, I like to hit and I feel that I can pick up coverages and defensive schemes pretty well. It also helps that I played running back so in the safety blitz type plays I can dissect the play and pick my gap accordingly based on my experience. 

You seem to run this outside wheel route from the wingback position a lot. Could you tell me a little bit about this play or about a play that seems to always work for you? –

So yeah 3rd down and 10 we usually run this play. I just hit the outside, turn up field, my QB throws it up and my team trusts me to make the play. There is one other play I do enjoy as well. It’s run out of power formation we call green with two fullbacks in front of me. Essentially it’s just a HB dive. During the Red River game…my best game of the season actually, I had 48 carries, 208 yards and 4 touchdowns off of that one play.  

What was the most influential moment of your playing career? –

There were two moments actually. The first was during my sophomore year. I finally got my start at running back my sophomore year. My quarterback at the time was a senior. We had a ten year drought without ever making it to a playoff game but we’ve always had really good players come through Menard. However, we had trouble making it to the postseason. My sophomore year we ended up actually making it to our first playoff game but ended up losing. After the loss my quarterback told my friends and I that we would be nothing without him and the seniors. So all of us took that to heart and we made a pact that we will be better than them and we will win our first playoff game next season. So we started the season out pretty good. Then came the Red River game and that was the game where I had 208 yards and scored all 32 points for our team. We were on a game winning drive and were getting close to field goal position to win the game with under 30 seconds. I went out for the wheel route pass that you mentioned earlier and the ball sailed just past my fingertips and landed into the DB’s hands who took it to the house and ended up winning the game on that play. That was easily the game of my life. I was up for player of the week because of that game. The frustration I felt from not winning that game really motivated me to be better and to finish our upcoming games strong. We ended up doing exactly that and winning our first playoff game against Ascension Episcopal. I vividly remember running up to quarterback Chris after the game and saying “I told you we didn’t need them”. 

Who has been the most influential person to you in regards to your football career? –

Like I said earlier it would have to be my father. He recognizes my potential and he wants me to take advantage of that so he challenges me everyday not only to be the best football player that I can be but also to be my best off the field whether it be school, interpersonal relationships or just being in tune with myself. 

If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing before you entered the realm of football what would it be? –

Don’t be scared to hit. To be honest I really only started grasping the fundamentals of playing defense this year. I played some defense last year but I really started perfecting my game on that side of the ball this year. I was watching my film one day this year and there would be times where I wouldn’t finish the play off as a guy is going to the ground and I would beat myself up over it. So halfway through the season I told myself I have to be more aggressive and I have to follow through my tackles. Halfway through the season I had 20 tackles. Once I made that mental switch I was able to rack up 58 tackles through the last six games. 

So you are constantly switching offense and defense during games? –

Pretty much. Collectively this season I only came out about 5 snaps. 

What are your plans and or goals moving forward after high school? –

Obviously I would like to play college and eventually enter the NFL but if that opportunity doesn’t present itself I would like to become a veterinarian. Living on a farm and my dad being a veterinarian, I have developed a strong bond with animals.