Carlo Thompson is one of the best players from the Tampa, FL area in the Class of 2026.
The 4-foot-5, 67-pound Thompson, who attends Collins Elementary, is a dynamic player that works on both sides of the ball as a running back and cornerback.
Thompson, who plays for the Fair Oaks Rattlers, has earned plenty of recognition during his outstanding youth career, such as Best Defensive Back and Best Offensive Player.
Thompson is humbled by the accolades.
“Those awards mean a lot to me because it shows me that my hard work is paying off. It makes me want to keep getting better,” Thompson said. “It felt good to play with the best players of my age.”
No matter the opponent, on each snap Thompson is determined to give it his all.
Thompson is going all out.
The motor is always at full throttle whenever Thompson steps between the lines.
“My mindset is carrying the team on my back and leading my team to victory,” Thompson said. “I want to make the opponent have to work for everything they get.”
Thompson has great passion and energy whenever he’s on the gridiron. Thompson tells why he enjoys the game of football so much.
“I love getting in the endzone and locking up at corner. I love making big plays for my team,” Thompson said. “And I love winning because there’s nothing like being in the locker room with your brothers.”
Thompson has learned many valuable lessons from playing football that he applies to his everyday life.
The main one is applying perspective to all situations.
“Football has taught me so much about life in general,” Thompson said. “It taught me how to be a man through hard work. f you keep working hard you can make anything you want to happen in life possible.”
Thompson recalls his favorite football memory.
“My favorite memory was my first time getting in the end zone because it was something about the feeling,” Thompson said. “It was a memory that I’ll never forget.”
Jeremy Johnson has coached Thompson for five years.
Johnson explains the best parts of Thompson’s game.
“At running back it’s his vision. It’s second to none. He’s a very patient runner that waits for his blockers to set up so he can get a good hole. At cornerback it’s his instincts to know how to locate the ball while defending the receiver,” Johnson said. “He’s the kind of player the other team better be aware of or they’re going to get burned.”
Thompson takes his role as one of the leaders on the team very seriously. Thompson makes sure he’s a daily positive influence on his peers.
“I demonstrate being a good teammate by doing everything I can to be a good example and by pep talking my team before the game,” Thompson said. “The best advice I give is to say we got this and we’re going to win this game.”
Johnson adds that Thompson is one of those consummate teammates that every squad needs to be successful.
“He demonstrates his leader skills by just being positive and pepping up his peers,” Johnson said. “That kind of attitude is contagious to the rest of the team and really rubs off on his peers.”
Thompson is appreciative of having amazing male role models that are supportive.
“I've learned a lot from my coaches on how to be a better player and person on and off the field,” Thompson said. “They teach me techniques to use when I’m in the game and they make sure I put school as a focus.”
Johnson is an advocate of Thompson’s capabilities.
“Well we were playing the North Tampa Rams. We came out sluggish. Carlo turned the game around on a 4th and 10 that he took to the house for a 50 yard touchdown before the half,” Johnson said. “We wouldn’t have the success we had without his contributions.”
In addition to making clutch plays, Thompson also has a high level of football IQ as well.
Thompson has excellent football awareness that puts him in position to thrive.
“Well as far as IQ he recognizes plays well. If he sees it once you can’t trick him, ” Thompson said. “He’s a very smart player that always puts himself in a position to be successful on the field.”
Thompson is on the grind to perfect and hone his craft in any way possible.
“As far as his work ethic goes he comes from a strong background where work ethic is expected and demanded,” Johnson said. “So he goes as hard as you can push him.”
Johnson explains why he compares Thompson to this player.
“He reminds me of Bryce Love from Stanford because they both have vision and they’re both home run hitters,” Johnson said. “He’s the complete package as a running back and he’s always dangerous out there.”
Thompson patterns his mentality after this standout.
“Malik Davis because he’s my cousin and I’ve seen him have success in high school and college,” Thompson said.
Thompson is constantly striving for greatness in everything that he does.
“I want to be the best person I can be off the field and the best player at my position I can be on the field,” Shaw said. “I want to make my family proud of me in everything that I do.”
Thompson has his sights set on becoming a Clemson Tiger.
“I like their football team and I’ve always been a fan,” Thompson said. “I would love to help Clemson win another national title. They have a lot of players that succeed.”
Thompson lists math as his favorite subject in school.
“I like numbers and everything involves numbers,” Thompson said. “Math is a very important subject for your real life.”
Johnson outlines the areas of improvement that will take Thompson to the next level.
“We working on ball skills and he can get better with more reps and hand eye coordination drills,” Johnson said.
Johnson believes the sky is the limit as long as Thompson continues to stay hungry.
“I believe Carlo can go as far as he wants to go,” Johnson said. “His IQ will always be one of the highest on the field.”
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