Darrell Thompson as a Husker? Former JM, Gophers star had Nebraska at top of his list

BleedGopher

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per Guy:

How good would Darrell Thompson have looked in the Nebraska backfield in the 1980s?

Considering that he went on to become Minnesota’s all-time leading rusher, probably pretty good.

The Rochester John Marshall running back was an elite player and heavily recruited when he played for the Rockets back in the mid-1980s. He had plenty of options from high-powered football programs such as Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan and Nebraska.

“The Big Red Machine (Nebraska) was a powerhouse back then, and I loved the way they ran the ball, and I loved their offense,” Thompson said. “There’s nothing more that a tailback wants to do then dot the ‘I’ for the University of Nebraska, especially during the 80s and 90s.

“There wasn’t any better place for a running back, in my opinion.”


Heading into his visits, Nebraska was the top school on Thompson’s list.



“Actually, I loved Nebraska until I went on my visit,” he said. “I would have gone to Nebraska, but when I went there my visit was very, very mediocre. I said, ‘I don’t really have a lot going on with my family as far as finances so I need a summer job.’ They said, ‘We got that.’ And I asked about tutors and they said, ‘Yeah, we got that.’ That’s all they said. Every other school went on about it for about 45 minutes. So I was like, ‘It doesn’t seem like education is too high of a priority here.’ But the football would be awesome. And it was awesome. We played them and they knocked our blocks off my senior year in college.”

With his lukewarm trip to Nebraska on his mind, Thompson decided to play at Minnesota.

“I really felt like, and I still do, that Minnesota was the best fit for me in case football didn’t work out,” he said. “Their might have been schools that were obviously stronger football schools that recruited me.”

Going to Minnesota proved to be a solid move for Thompson. After four strong years with the Gophers, he was a first-round draft choice of the Green Bay Packers. Thompson played five years in the NFL. Since the end of his playing career, he has been a businessman in the Twin Cities and has also been doing radio broadcasts of Gophers football games for more than 20 years.

“It’s a city, it’s a community, businesses, jobs, Fortune 500 companies,” Thompson said of the Twin Cities. “I’ve been able to raise a family, I just had my first grandchild, it’s been tremendous.”


Go Gophers!!
 

BTChamp

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1st grandchild? Wow, I'm getting old!!!!! I remember watching him when I was in high school.
 

GopherJack

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Darrell's dad George has been an influential man and a pillar in the Rochester community for decades. He's a community leader and has served on many committee's and boards. Years ago I took a community education class that George and his wife taught on volleyball - fun times!
 

#2Gopher

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If Thompson had gone to Nebraska, wonder if the doors still would have opened for him here in Minnesota?
 

GoldenRodents

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Darrell Thompson is the Halsey Hall of prior generations, still looking for our Ray Christianson
 

GopherDog1

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.....when a highly recruited, intelligent young man shows up to visit the Husker's Blue Blood program; his dream school, looks around and says: "No thanks"
 

Spaulding!No!

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When we all go the rose bowl make sure to meet dt when we are all out on the town. Solid dude.
 

Plato

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I saw Thompson play against WI at WI. I was with a BIL. It was a very rainy day and the ladies had the sense to go shopping.
Both teams played so poorly that the radio announcer for MN said games like his give college fooball a bad name.
MN had a chance to score but the QB threw a pass so errant it ended up in the third row.
Then Thompson broke a long run with only a scrawny WI safety between him and the winning score. The safety threw his body on the ground and Thompson fell over him.
That was the start of Thompson's magic hamstrings. He left that game not to return.
The GM of the Packers drafted him and he even renewed Thompson's contract even though the magic hamstrings keptThompson on the bench for most of his NFL career.
The guy is smart.
He gamed the system, made a fair amount of $$ and left with his body and brain intact.
 

Word

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I saw Thompson play against WI at WI. I was with a BIL. It was a very rainy day and the ladies had the sense to go shopping.
Both teams played so poorly that the radio announcer for MN said games like his give college fooball a bad name.
MN had a chance to score but the QB threw a pass so errant it ended up in the third row.
Then Thompson broke a long run with only a scrawny WI safety between him and the winning score. The safety threw his body on the ground and Thompson fell over him.
That was the start of Thompson's magic hamstrings. He left that game not to return.
The GM of the Packers drafted him and he even renewed Thompson's contract even though the magic hamstrings keptThompson on the bench for most of his NFL career.
The guy is smart.
He gamed the system, made a fair amount of $$ and left with his body and brain intact.
Gamed the system?
 
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