MIAMI GARDENS -- After weeks of contemplation and multiple talks with Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher, running back Chris Thompson has decided to end any attempts at extending his collegiate career. He has decided to forgo a medical exemption opportunity, and will instead turn pro.
In a strange twist of fate, he informed the Sentinel about his decision inside the same building that brought an end to his senior season. In mid-October, after catching a pass inside Sun Life and streaking down FSU's sideline in a game against the Miami Hurricanes, Thompson tore an ACL when he was tackled at the end of the long run after catch. It was the second season-ending injury he has had in as many seasons.
"I'm not really expecting to hear anything from [the NCAA], to be honest," Thompson said. "So I've decided to move on and just see what happens."
FSU coach Jimbo Fisher believed he made a wise choice.
"I agree with him," Fisher said. "Because of the chance of another injury again, you might as well go up there and play."
Thompson joins fellow fourth-year senior, defensive end Brandon Jenkins, in becoming another Seminoles star who has decided to forgo any chances at receiving an extra year. Like Thompson, Jenkins suffered a season-ending injury. He announced last month that he was going to go pro, even though he qualified for another year due to the NCAA's medical redshirt policies.
In a technical sense, Thompson didn't qualify for such a redshirt. He was hopeful, though, because his first season-ending injury came within three plays of having been worthy to use. Players are allowed to medically redshirt if they have played injury-free in only three games of a season.
Thompson was on Play 3 of the fourth game of the 2011 season when he broke vertebrae in his back. Because the games missed total 15, the Seminoles wondered if the NCAA would declare him eligible for a redshirt since he would have effectively missed a full season between the two years.
"I want to still push it through to see if it would go through," Fisher said about the exemption paperwork. "But I'm happy for him."
Fisher said the two spoke right after FSU's Dec. 1 ACC championship victory over Georgia Tech. Within the next two weeks, as bowl practices began, Thompson made his decision.
"I'm a big believer in God, so I feel like whatever is meant for me, it's going to happen, no matter what," Thompson said. "Just be patient with it."
Thompson said he won't be fully healthy in time for the NFL Combine and similar performance-based workouts, but he will evaluate soon how he will attack the process of getting scouted. He has not yet hired an agent, but will do so after getting back to North Florida where he can sit down and talk with his parents and Fisher a little further.