May 1, 2008

Thompson's stock starting to skyrocket

Martez Thompson admits he's a little upset that he's not getting the hype and attention that some of his classmates around the state of Mississippi and the Southeast are receiving.

Then again, the Pascagoula cornerback knows that some of the oversight is his fault and some falls on the fact that the Panthers failed to make a deep playoff run last season.

"My 10th grade year I was slacking off,'' said Thompson, who moved to Pascagoula from Columbia, Miss., prior to his sophomore season. "I started but I didn't do what I could do. I got better last year. I'm kind of upset about it. I haven't been scored on but one time."

Pascagoula coach Scott Sisson believes Thompson is being modest. He blames himself.

"I haven't used him much on offense," Sisson said. "He made first-team all-state and first-team all-region, but we got knocked out in the first round and that kind of hurts. If we beat George County and get to Jackson, he gets all the accolades.

He's a lockdown corner. He's one of three top go-to guys on offense. He'll pull a DeAndre Brown or Alonzo Lawrence this year if he stays healthy. He's not as tall as them, but that's who he had to cover last year and he did a pretty damn good job. He's in their league."

College coaches apparently agree. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Thompson has received offers from Southern Mississippi and Mississippi State. Ole Miss and Alabama have ramped up their interest in him as well. The Rebels were on the Gulf Coast last week and after watching Thompson, they told Sisson that if he came to camp in Oxford and performed in the same manner on that stage, an Ole Miss offer would be forthcoming.

Thompson is taking all of it in.

"I'm pretty open,'' said Thompson, who had 71 tackles and nine interceptions last season. "Mostly, I want to play close to home. It's hard to say. It's really between Mississippi State and Southern Miss now. They've been recruiting me the hardest and they're both close to home."

Thompson said he plans to take Ole Miss up on its camp invitation, and he covets an offer from the Rebels. However, Ole Miss has some catching up to do. Specifically, the Rebels have to show him that he can play early.

"I'm going," Thompson said. "I like it, but I want somewhere where I can go right in and play right away. Southern Miss' head coach (Larry Fedora) said if I come there, I'll play right away and probably start my freshman year."

Thompson has his core in order and he made a 15 on his first ACT try. He's planning on focusing on the standardized test this summer and on the field, he wants to improve his tackling skills.

"Really I pretty much think I can cover the basics," Thompson said. "I can cover better than I tackle. Tackling is something I want to work. Don't get me wrong, I'm not afraid to tackle. I'll hit you."





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