I first learned of Erroll Thompson when I met his father and uncle at a motel in Starkville when he was a “newbie”.
It was 2016 when Thompson was a freshman from Florence, AL. During the few minutes of conversation with his dad, I got a sense of what he was about. His dad told me that Thompson had been recruited hard by several schools, including Michigan, Kentucky, Louisville, and Alabama.
Alabama is where many told him to go, but Thompson had a different dream. He wanted to set his path and make a name for himself. Thompson’s dad said to me that day that his son had fallen in love with Miss. State already and wanted to become a leader while getting his degree. Thompson has done many of the things he set out to do in 2016, but he has a little more to finish before he is done wearing Maroon and White.
Thompson was seriously considering departing for the NFL after the 2019 season. Still, after talking with his dad and grandmother (who strongly influenced him), he decided he needed to finish what he started, including getting his degree. Thompson comes into the 2020 season with 29 straight starts at “Mike” linebacker. He was credited with 84 tackles last year, 217 career tackles, 18 TFLs, and 6.5 sacks in 39 games.
Erroll, or “E” as he is usually called, has grown to 6-foot-1, 250 pounds, as he has become one of the best linebackers in the SEC and country. Thompson has a unique way of seeing the field and making recognition because of natural talent and being a student of the game. In a side note, E’s high school teammate, was Braden White, who plays ILB at Texas A&M and wore #12 last year, an honor reserved for a team leader there.
Thompson played well last year but admitted he didn’t play to his own standard. It was the first time he had to worry about setting the other players around him while dealing with many back-up personnel weekly. It caused him not to react as quickly because he was set on directing others. This year will be better in many ways. He is experienced with that defensive team leader role now, and many around him gained valuable experience last year being thrown into the SEC battles for the first time.
There is no doubt that Thompson will be playing in the NFL after this year. He is well poised to be the next in a line of Miss. State linebackers who have played in the NFL (Wright, McKinney, Chaney, Skinner, Haggans, Cooks, Fortunato, White, Williams, and HOF member D. D Lewis). “E” loves to hit people and reminds me of the old Chicago Bears linebacker Mike Singletary and the eyes that stared opponents down. The classic linebacker, playing with attitude and emotion.
Thompson is one reason I think our defense will play better than last year as he mentors the linebackers learning around him. This team will make a lot of noise this year (fans may not be able to ☹ ). Thompson will complete his dream he set out to do five years ago and then hear his name called for his diploma, and for the next level which he will star in as well. Thompson’s love for State and ours will never dim.
Let’s GO, “E”!