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One of the larger question marks surrounding the Central High School football team entering this season was who outside of Johnny and Jordan Davis would step up on the offensive side of the ball.

It appears senior Terrance Thompson will be one of those guys.

The 6-foot-8, 240-pound Division I basketball recruit decided to come out for the football team for the first time since he was a freshman at Logan.

“I was playing basketball the past few years in the summer, spring, and fall and I wanted to change it up a bit,” Thompson said. “And Johnny and Jordan had been pressing me to play the last few years and coach (Tony) Servais has been, too. So I just decided to come out and experience it again.”

After having lost key contributors Jamar Davis and Steven Cross, the Red Raiders returned just two starters offensively outside of the Davis twins. More importantly, there was no known receiving threats opposite Jordan. In stepped Thompson.

With his size, he towers over corners and safeties and is faster than the average linebacker. He can be a mismatch nightmare.

“It’s a nice weapon to have,” Central coach Tony Servais said after Thursday night’s win over Eau Claire North. “Because (opponents) were double-teaming Jordan anytime we put him in on the backside. They did that last year to us too. They didn’t do it with Terrance right away and we were able to take advantage.”

Central wasted no time getting Thompson involved against the Huskies on Thursday. The very first play of the season went to Thompson when Johnny Davis found him on a post route about 20 yards downfield. Thompson dragged defenders for another 14 yards like a dad playing at his child’s birthday party for a 34-yard gain.

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“I mean he’s 6-7, 240,” Johnny Davis said. “Just a beast.”

But perhaps Thompson’s most impressive play came on that drive’s two-point conversion. After a penalty backed up the conversion five yards, Thompson faked a fade route before crossing in front of his off-balance defender toward the middle of the end zone. Davis threw the ball, and Thompson used every bit of his frame to box out his defender. It looked just like he was going up for a rebound.

He also showed off his hands and his route running a few drives later, grabbing a low throw on a short route. It was only a 7-yard gain, but it showed the potential of Thompson to be more than just a jump-ball receiver.

It’s why the University of Wisconsin football team eagerly approached Thompson to gauge his interest in the sport, specifically his interest in playing tight end. He passed his first test of the season, catching three passes for just over 60 yards and a two-point conversion. Thompson is confident this is just the beginning for him.

“I haven’t really talked to any coaches about football, but I’m pretty sure they are going to start calling,” Thompson said. “I talked to Wisconsin and Minnesota last year. Right now it’s just basketball, but I hope that some football coaches come calling.”

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Alex VandenHouten can be reached at alex.vandenouten@lee.net or via Twitter @AlexVandenhout1

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