FAYETTEVILLE — When Warren Thompson signed with Florida State out of Seffner (Fla.) Armwood as a four-star recruit most predicted stardom for him in Tallahassee.
But after three seasons at Florida State, Thompson opted to leave. In three seasons, he played in 16 games with only three starts. He caught 11 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown. In 2019, he played under then offensive coordinator Kendal Briles. That season, Thompson caught six passes for 91 yards.
But following the 2019 season, Briles left for Arkansas where he is now the offensive coordinator. Thompson entered the transfer portal and Briles was pleased to get him to Arkansas hoping things fall in place for the 6-foot-3, 205-pound wide receiver. Briles was asked Friday since he at least kind of knew about Thompson how has he looked so far at Arkansas?
“Ain’t no kind of to it,” Briles said. “I spent an entire year with him. I know Warren Thompson well, and there’s a reason why he’s here. Warren is an incredible athlete. A really good kid, soft spoken person and really willing to learn. We’re so happy to have him here. He’s had a nagging injury for most of fall camp. He’s now really starting to get healthy, and you see it. He’s very hard to cover. He’s got great quickness. He’s a big body guy with great range. He’s got to get a little better blocking on the perimeter and knowing exactly what to do. Things happen fast. Coach (Barry) Odom and the defense are flying around with a lot of different looks, so he’s had to process that. But I like where he’s at, and he’s going to definitely provide some depth for us.”
Sam Pittman credited Briles with getting Thompson to Arkansas.
“That certainly helped once he went into the portal, that certainly helped.” Pittman said of Briles’ connection with Thompson. “I didn’t know a whole lot about him. To take kids off a high school tape out of the portal, when they’ve been in college for a year or two, it’s hard. It’s hard for me. I want to take a kid that I’ve seen do something in a college game. So, at that point we tried to get him to come walk on, and if he earned a scholarship, we certainly have one available. Kendal obviously coached him there at Florida State.”
The quarterback, KJ Jefferson, who will be throwing passes to him this season also spoke highly of Thompson on Friday.
“I’ve seen a lot of explosiveness coming off the line of scrimmage and just being able to be big down the field,” Jefferson said. “He’s made some great catches down the field. Also, coming in and out of breaks, he’s natural and fluid, so you don’t have to try to over-coach him technique-wise. I feel like he’s just actually got the skillset to be in this offense and be explosive.”
Prior to camp, Treylon Burks admitted he was anxious to see what Thompson could do in camp.
“He’s pretty fast,” Burks said. “He can catch the ball. Honestly, I’m just ready to see him in fall camp so I’ll know exactly who he is and see the type of player he is. That’s just my standpoint.”
Talented safety Jalen Catalon also spoke highly of Thompson from the summer workouts.
“He’s a quiet guy, you know,” Catalon said. “He just wanted to do what he had to do for the team. He wasn’t trying to do too much. He came in, had great workouts from what I saw, he ran routes after practice and stuff. He was really smooth, so I’m ready to see what he can do on the field and help this team out. But I can always respect a guy that likes to come in and work, keep his head down. I can respect that.”
Arkansas will hold a key scrimmage on Saturday morning.