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Huskies Get in Line, Offer Basketball Player Turned Edge Rusher

The Stockton, California, recruit just picked up the game as a high school senior.
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One high school football game was all it took for Devan Thompkins to show he could play, and do it at a high level.

A month ago, the tall, lanky senior took the field as an edge rusher and tight end for Edison High School in Stockton, California — giving the sport a try for the first time since grade school — and he was so impressive Arizona offered him a scholarship practically on the spot.

On Wednesday night, the University of Washington got in line for the services of the 6-foot-6, 225-pound player and made him an offer, as well, as a prospective defensive player.

Add the Huskies to a list that now includes Michigan State, USC, Oregon, Missouri, San Diego State, Arizona State and Utah, among a dozen suitors and growing. 

“It happened that fast," Edison coach Booker Guyton told the Stockton Record. "It was a shock that, for a kid that hasn’t played football and who has only played one high school game, and the next thing you know he’s the top lineman in Northern California.”

Thompkins previously was an aspiring basketball player across town at Stockton's St. Mary's High who finally realized that he wasn't a big-time recruit in the gym. He qualifies for that kind of attention in football. 

"The basketball route, it was my thing, but it wasn’t really working out as well," he told the Record. "Football, I know with my build and everything, I know I can be a better factor in this sport."

It's not like the game wasn't part of the family.

Thompkins' older brother, Fred, is a 6-foot, 235-pound linebacker for City College of San Francisco who committed to Washington State a year ago only to pull back on his pledge. He remains unsigned.

Larry Grant, the Thompkins brothers' uncle, played linebacker for CCSF, Ohio State and six years in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers, the St. Louis Rams and the Chicago Bears.

Grant, now a UNLV defensive analyst, or budding assistant coach, was a big factor in talking Thompkins into picking up football again.

Yes, Thompkins holds a scholarship offer from UNLV.

He continues to astonish his coaches and thoses recruiters just catching on.

"Usually, when you get kids like that, you get a little concerned because those guys are timid and don’t really want a lot of contact," Guyton said. "He was the total opposite."

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