Willing to commit
LB takes plunge, hopes draft stock doesn't do the samePosted: Tuesday March 25, 2003 10:09 PM
This is the third in a series as SI.com follows West Texas A&M linebacker Chaun Thompson in the weeks leading up to the 2003 NFL Draft in April.
By B. Duane Cross, SI.com
One month after the Scouting Combine and four weeks before the NFL Draft, Chaun Thompson is in no-man's land. Pro Day at West Texas A&M is history, and while several teams have scheduled interviews, there are no workouts slated.
Still, there's plenty to do. Buffalo has a face-to-face with Thompson on Wednesday. Cleveland and Kansas City also have interviews planned. And Thompson's son, Kamaury, celebrates his first birthday April 2, so there's a party to prepare for, too.
"I know it would be cold in Buffalo," Thompson said, "but I'd be happy to leave the heat and humidity of Texas. And I'll look even bigger with all those extra clothes on. But the Bills just signed Takeo Spikes, so I don't know about them. Like people have told me: 'The teams that show interest in you sometimes don't get you.'"
One reason the workouts have slowed is because teams are wrapped up in the owners meetings. Deals that may go down as a result of talks in Phoenix may alter a team's draft needs, so spending time scouting and working out a player who wouldn't be considered for drafting would be a waste of time.
Also, teams got enough to whet their appetite at the Combine and the Buffs' Pro Day. Thompson is now a known quantity; it's merely a matter of which team will send his name to the podium on draft weekend.
"I really don't have a preference," Thompson said of his eventual NFL destination. "Wherever I have to go is OK with me. I just want to be there. Whoever calls, I'm there.
"My mom doesn't care, either. She just wants me to keep playing. ... I love my mom," he said. "She's never had nothing; just hand-me-downs.
"I'm just thinking about the opportunity. My mom says not to blow my money, but I'm going to help my mama."
Off the field, a different kind of love is in the air. It is springtime, after all.
Thompson -- a new-age linebacker, complete with size and speed -- went man-to-man last week with his fiercest competitor yet. He asked Faith Boyd's father for his daughter's hand in marriage. "And you know he had to give me that fatherly talk," Thompson added. "'I love my baby, I never harmed my baby ... you better not ...'
"I was scared," he admitted, "because when he said 'you better not' he was clinching his fists!
"Then he started crying and went inside. ... A few minutes later his wife came out asking, 'What did you do to my husband?'
"I was nervous," Thompson said, "because they'd never seen him cry. ... The Combine was nothing like asking a dad for his daughter's hand."