So far in his young career at Nebraska, we haven’t heard much from running back Ronald Thompkins. It’s easy for the Georgia native to now get lost in the shuffle. He’s been filed away as a “we’ll see him some day” type of player. Perhaps that time is now. Thompkins signed with Nebraska back in the 2019 recruiting class. He needed to rehab from a knee injury that cost him his senior season.
It was then that coach Scott Frost said he was as talented as any back they recruited.
“Ronald’s a guy that other people tried to come in on here late,” Frost said. “I think if Ronald would have stayed healthy this year, it might have been tough for us to hold onto him with all the people that would have come after him. If you watch his highlights from this year before he got hurt, I think he has a chance to be special.”
As a 4-star recruit Thompkins (5-11, 195) was recruited by schools from coast to coast. His offer list was impressive. It included Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Oregon, Penn State, USC and LSU. After he committed to Nebraska, a former coach of his, Kenyatta Watson decribed what type of player he is.
“Here’s the thing. He is our best football player,” Watson said. “I know that’s saying a lot. We have guys that are ranked higher than he is but all of these kids have played together since they were 9-years-old. Ronald has always been the best football player.”
Thompkins had a setback last season while rehabbing but has had time to heal up. There is not an expectation right now that he will unseat Mills in the top running back spot but he doesn’t have to yet. If the redshirt freshman can continue progressing to the point that he can contribute for Nebraska this season it’s a big win. He was featured in the last video the team put out centered around the first day of pads. You can see him scoring a touchdown at the 40-second mark.
— Nebraska Football (@HuskerFBNation) October 1, 2020
Redshirt sophomore center Cam Jurgens was asked about Thompkins progress on Thursday.
“He’s an athletic guy back there with good vision that can hit holes,” Jurgens said. “We’ve got a few guys at the running back spot. There are a few young guys that we are excited to see get out there to see what they can do.”
The Huskers have a talented but inexperienced running back group. Dedrick Mills, Rahmir Johnson, Sevion Morrison and Marvin Scott are in Lincoln. The (very) early scoop out of Huskers fall camp is that Thompkins is performing well. Thompkins has shown tremendous perseverance to even get to this point. Returning from multiple knee injuries is not easy. He stuck with the plan just as the Huskers stuck by him through the process. Now both could be rewarded in the end if he stays on track.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.