His fabled football career completed at Westminster Christian (Miami)
, David Thompson
will be forever linked with such pro greats as Alex Rodriguez and Tim Tebow.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound quarterback broke all but one of Rodriguez's school passing records and is favorably compared to Tebow both on and off the field. As a senior, Thompson led the Warriors to a 7-3 record by completing 132 of 203 passes for 2,055 yards and 20 touchdowns. He also ran 53 times for 382 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Through the air, he finished with 5,644 yards and 50 touchdowns. Rodriguez, who graduated, in 1993, held the previous records of 3,074 yards and 35 touchdown passes.
Thompson's total offense of 8,301 yards - No. 3 in Dade County history - more than doubled A-Rod's school record of 3,328 yards. Thompson also set the school record by accounting for a total of 86 touchdowns. Rodriguez did retain one key record, however. He threw 21 touchdown passes in one year, while Thompson's best was 20.
The records were rather unexpected, Thompson said.
"I never even thought about it last year," the University of Miami recruit told MaxPreps. "It felt pretty cool and was a fun experience."
As far as current NFL quarterback and Florida product Tim Tebow is concerned, Thompson does fit the mold in many ways.
"It's cool to be compared to guys like that, but I try not to compare myself to guys who already have proven themselves," Thompson said humbly.
He did admit, however, to a few similarities.
"I don't shy away from contact too often," he pointed out. "I like to lower my shoulder. I have a passion for the game - the way he treats every game in every moment. I try to produce a lot of emotion. Before this year, I used to run and pass about the same, but this year I went to passing more."
Off the field, both are from missionary families. Thompson's father, Ed, is president of Logoi Ministries, a family organization founded by his grandfather. He already has served on mission trips to Bolivia, Costa Rica and Cuba.
Before this year, Thompson was coached by Joe Mira, who began his career in 1968 and previously had coached at five other schools in the Miami area.
"He's the best I've ever coached," Mira said. "He's the whole package - not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. He's from an awesome family and his parents both were athletes."
This year Mira was succeeded by former NFL player Sedrick Irvin, who previously had been an assistant coach at the University of Memphis and an intern at the University of Alabama.
Irvin recalled, "The first thing I heard was, 'You've got a great quarterback.' They hit it right on point. He was advanced for his throwing skills and his talent was ahead of everybody. David was right with college guys as a senior. I saw a lot of my work ethic in him. He's a great competitor. Guys like him come around only once every 10 years. Everything he does is on another level."
Thompson did some amazing things that will stick in his coach's mind for a long time.
Once he actually hurdled a would-be tackler. Irvin estimates he was about 5-10. Thompson said it was the only time he ever tried it and he cleared the defender's head by only about 2 inches.
On another occasion the Warriors' star pulled off a fake punt on his own initiative to get a key first down.
For the first time in his four-year prep career, Thompson will not play basketball this winter. It's a big loss, according to Irvin, who was amazed by his highlight tape.
"It was not an easy thing to do," Thompson said. "But I think I made the right decision."
This is the first break he has had from year-around sports participation during the last four years. Still, he now is preparing for the Jan. 4 Semper Fi All-American football game, sponsored by the U.S. Marines. Then it will be baseball, where he holds some state home run records and already has filled out six questionnaires for the June Major League Baseball Draft.
Thompson will play football and baseball at Miami, unless he turns pro in baseball - and that definitely could happen because he should be a high draft choice.
As far as Westminster Christian football is concerned, though, Irvin praised, "He set the standard high for me as a coach and players coming behind him."