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January 9, 2013

Thompson doing baseball ... and maybe spring drills

This is what happens when baseball and football get thrown together: You have quarterback Ryan Williams joining multi-sport QB/baseball player David Thompson for an impromptu batting session.

And the results aren't pretty.

"He realized how hard it is to hit a baseball," Thompson said. "He hit them, but didn't hit them great."

And that was just off a tee.

Thompson is used to excelling in both sports ... as well as basketball. He starred in all three in high school at Westminster Christian.

And he's looking to replicate his success at the collegiate level. The freshman missed the football season due to shoulder surgery but told CaneSport.com Wednesday that he's back to 100 percent with the baseball season around the corner.

He is now playing first base and left field for coach Jim Morris' team.

"I'm still doing rehab and therapy every day, but I'm pretty much fully recovered," said Thompson, who was cleared to take batting practice in December. "I'm a full go now. I feel great. My throwing, I feel better than ever."

Thompson says he continues to talk "all the time" with football coaches. He will return to football full-time once baseball season ends. And he doesn't rule out taking part in a spring football practice here or there if it doesn't conflict with a baseball practice or game.

"It's possible - we'll see how it goes, I really don't know just how it'll work out yet," Thompson said. "I know coach (Al) Golden and coach Morris have been real great communicating, are making it as great a situation as it can be."

Asked if it would be hard to go from throwing a baseball to a football and back again, Thompson said, "Well, I've been throwing a football every day still, so I'm used to it."

Thompson says he is just playing catch with a football and is not throwing routes to receivers.

He says despite not being able to participate in football practice last season he was able to learn plenty.

"I pretty much have the playbook down now," he said. "I was in all the meetings, took the tests (on the playbook), did pretty well - not at first, I was horrible. But I got better."

So far in intrasquad games Thompson's hit three doubles and had some RBI.

"No home runs yet," Thompson says with a smile.

Thompson projects as a third baseman down the road but isn't playing there right now - the team is still protecting his arm.

"Thompson is a guy that could start at first or left field," Morris said. "I don't know if he's going to throw well enough this year to start at third base. Maybe his future position is third base. But David Thompson is a hitter, that's the No. 1 thing he does. He can swing the bat. He broke all of Alex Rodriguez's records as a hitter. He's a good athlete, and he seems to get the job done. So I think David has a great chance to start for us somewhere whether it's first, left or DH."

So will it be hard to get a starting job on the football field when he's only dedicating half his time in the sport compared to UM's other quarterbacks?

"Yeah, it'll definitely be tougher," Thompson said. "They're over there a full year, I'm only half the year. But I've been used to coming from behind a little bit and hopefully I'll pick it up quick when I get over there this year."

From what he's seen on the football field, does he think he can be the QB starter at the University of Miami?

"Yeah, I wouldn't be here if I didn't think so," Thompson said. "And the same with the other quarterbacks here - if you didn't think you could play, you wouldn't come."

Will there come a point where he has to pick one sport or the other?

"I don't know," Thompson said. "I try not to think about that."

Asked if he has a favorite sport, Thompson replies diplomatically.

"I've always said whatever season it's in - when it's baseball season I like baseball more, when it's football season I like football more," Thompson said.

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