Late Friday night, Washington State picked up its 14th commitment in the 2021 recruiting class from a place that’s plenty familiar to both the Cougars and their first-year coach.
Fred Thompkins, an inside linebacker from the City College of San Francisco, pledged to the Cougars just hours after Nick Rolovich teased the program’s 14th commitment on Twitter.
At this time after thinking with my family I’d like to commit to @WSUCougarFB I’d like to thank @NickRolovich, @CoachDickert, and @CoachDreAllen26 for believing in my ability #GoCougs @BrandonHuffman @LarryGrant95 @coachjimcollins @2Ddavis pic.twitter.com/B5rQ8l4bUJ— Fred Thompkins (@Fredthompkins5) July 25, 2020
The 6-foot, 235-pound prospect chose the Cougars over a list of mostly mid-major programs, including Central Florida, Florida Atlantic, Buffalo, East Carolina, Memphis, Toledo, Liberty, South Alabama, UNLV and San Jose State.
Thompkins is billed a three-star recruit by 247Sports.com and considered the country’s fourth-best junior college inside linebacker. The website also pegs the Central California native and Clovis West product as the state’s No. 8 overall junior college prospect.
As a freshman at CCSF, Thompkins posted head-turning numbers, helping lead the Rams to an 8-3 record including a 50-43 win over Shasta in the Golden Bowl to close the 2019 season.
Thompkins led the Rams with 90 total tackles, an average of eight per game, and had 16 tackles-for-loss, eight sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one interception. He also returned three kicks for 20 yards.
GridironRR named Thompkins the JC Freshman Player of the Year and he picked up First Team All-State honors as a linebacker in addition to First Team All Bay 6 honors.
The Cougars recruited the junior college powerhouse in San Francisco extremely well under former coach Mike Leach, signing safeties Robert Taylor and Shalom Luani, quarterback Anthony Gordon, wide receiver Easop Winston Jr., offensive lineman Robert Valencia and cornerback Derrick Langford.
Of that bunch, four have had opportunities in professional football thus far and Langford enters his senior season with the Cougars as a potential starter in the defensive secondary.
But WSU’s connection to CCSF is particularly strong now that Nick Rolovich presides over the Pac-12 program. Rolovich is a CCSF alum and two-time junior college All-American quarterback for the Rams who also spent two years coaching the position at the school.
CCSF was one of the first schools Rolovich visited on the recruiting trail upon taking the job in Pullman, posting a photo on Twitter of his old field and tagging Winston Jr. and Gordon with a caption that read, “Just leaving paw prints.”
Rolovich’s wide receivers coach, Andre Allen, spent 27 years coaching at CCSF in a variety of roles and played at the school from 1987-89.
Thompkins is the first junior college prospect to commit to the Cougars in the 2021 recruiting class and the second linebacker, joining Ryan Kershaw, a three-star prospect from the Yakima area.
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