LOCALS IN THE NFL
Former Aggie Receiver In Familiar Role As Rookie With Buccaneers
SALT LAKE CITY – The need to prove himself is a familiar feeling for former Utah State Aggie wide receiver/kick returner Deven Thompkins.
Considered undersized at 5’8 and 155 pounds, Thompkins has always had to fight an uphill battle to get on the football field. Using his speed and play-making ability to find a niche at every level.
Now, as an undrafted free agent entering training camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and quarterback Tom Brady, Thompkins is prepared to carve out a role.
#NFL training camp beings Tuesday but today #Bucs rookies reported including Dunbar alum @GrandmasterDT who signed as a UDFA in April.
"All I needed was one team to believe me & I got that one team that believes in me & I’m going to make the most of this opportunity.” @NBC2 pic.twitter.com/VOEuRTosVp
— Derek Kopp (@DerekKoppTV) July 23, 2022
Rather than let the doubts slow him down, Thompkins has learned how to silence the critics.
“I’ve had that same chip you know, since high school. Even going into college because I was still under recruited. So, for me, it’s kind of the same thing. I got that one team that’s gonna believe in me and I’ll make the most of this opportunity.”
After joining the Aggies prior to the 2018 season, Thompkins saw his role increase each year. Culminating in the Aggies first Mountain West Conference Championship and a bowl win during his junior season.
Named Associated Press Third-Team All-American and First-Team All-Mountain West, Thompkins name is all over the USU record books.
In 2021, he set the single-season school records in receptions (102), receiving yards (1,704) and games with at least 170 receiving yards (5). His six consecutive 100-yard receiving games, nine 100-yard receiving games overall equaled the schools previous best mark.
USU WR Deven Thompkins has been 1st or 2nd in the country all year in receiving yards. SDSU did everything they could to take him out of this championship game. USU coaches still got him involved during the most crucial downs. I’ll show you how they did it. pic.twitter.com/MjZhcESU4l
— Hans Olsen (@975Hans) December 8, 2021
Thompkins 171 receptions and 2,519 receiving yards are the third most in program history. His nine 100-yard receiving games is fourth in Aggie history.
After not being selected in the seven-round NFL draft, Thompkins inked a free-agent deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has impressed Tampa’s coaching staff so far.
“I know for my life, Tampa Bay was the best fit because being from Florida, my kids being so close to home. Also the ability to play with Tom.”
Thompkins and his fellow rookies reported to Buccaneers training camp on Saturday, July 23 with veterans scheduled to arrive on Tuesday, July 26. The Bucs open the preseason schedule against the Miami Dolphins on August 13 at 5:30 p.m. (MST).
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