Football has been RaQuan Thompson’s life for as long as he can remember.
“He’s been sleeping with a football since his daddy signed him up at 5 years old,” said Thompson’s mother, Niesha.
His football dreams became a reality as the Killeen High senior defensive lineman signed his national letter of intent to play for Tulsa on Wednesday.
“It means a lot for me, my family and everyone that’s supported me,” said Thompson. “To come this far in the past four years, it just means a lot.
“And for my coaches that helped me out tremendously, I’m so grateful.”
Thompson was so determined to continue his football career that he was open to offers at any level, but ultimately chose to play for the Golden Hurricane.
“I’m just blessed to go Division I,” he said.
With his parents by his side, he made his commitment official Wednesday in the field house office at Killeen.
“Going to college and playing football, that’s always in the back of your mind,” said Thompson’s father, Bertram Sr. “But you don’t really grasp that when you’re 6 years old out there running on the football field.”
With offers from various universities, some as far away as Hawaii, the reputation of Tulsa’s coaching staff is what led to his final decision.
“Ultimately, the coaching staff has been there; they’ve won games; they know how to win; they’ve been to bowl games and they have that experience,” Thompson explained. “I’m trying to get there and make an impact and win some games.”
“We want to be able to definitely go see his games,” said Niesha. “So we were excited when he chose to stay close.
“That was all his decision;we just supported him.”
And while Thompson is ready to start making an impact for the Golden Hurricane, the bonds he’s developed in his three years with the Roos defense is something he’ll never forget.
“We’re just a unit,” he said. “It’s a brotherhood, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Before walking into the office to put pen to paper and seal his future, Thompson let out a large sigh.
“I’m relieved it’s over,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about the recruiting process.
“I can finally settle down for the next four years of my life.”
With a half a year to go before his son heads across the Red River, Bertram hopes RaQuan always remembers to stay true to who he is.
“A lot of people try to listen to what people think they should do or where they should go,” he advised. “Just be yourself; follow your own dreams and you’ll be just fine.”