Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 2/28/13
Even though he didnt run or work out for the coaches and front-office personnel at the NFL Combine, Chris Thompson felt like he made an impression.Thompson was one of 13 former Florida State standouts invited to Indianapolis this week. Four months after tearing the ACL in his left knee after a long catch-and-run in the win at Miami, Thompson was able to put his foot in the door and sit down with NFL teams.Everything went pretty good, Thompson said. I had a little more interviews with the running back coaches. More than I thought I would get. For the most part it all went well. Met some good guys there. I was glad that I had the opportunity.Thompson made the most of it, sitting down for formal interviews with position coaches. One of the highlights was sitting in the New England Patriots room with their staff and coach Bill Belichick.I think he was the only head coach that I saw, Thompson said. It was one of those wow moments. You always dream of meeting coaches and talking to all of these different teams. But it really doesnt hit you until you actually get there.Thompson certainly had the credentials to get there. He accumulated 1,735 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns at Florida State, including a breakout season as a sophomore in 2010 when he ran for 845 yards and helped the Seminoles to a bowl win over South Carolina. And Thompson also showed he can catch the ball out of the backfield, pulling in 45 catches for 430 yards in his career.But beyond the numbers, Thompson has shown his character, resiliency and passion for football. He was sidelined in 2011 with broken vertebrae in his back, forcing him to miss eight games.He returned to the practice field in August and said he was good as new. He had 687 rushing yards through eight games putting him on pace for a 1,000-yard season before the knee injury.The injuries cost Thompson a total of 14 games, and fans can only wonder what he would have accomplished in terms of wins and yards if he had been available the past two seasons.Thompson averaged 6.26 yards per carry at Florida State, third on the all-time list (Warrick Dunn leads at 6.9 yards).He briefly debated appealing to the NCAA for a medical hardship to return to Florida State in 2013. But he opted to pursue his NFL dream, and it will be interesting to see when Thompson will be chosen.While for many draft prospects the tricky part of the combine are the question-and-answer sessions, for Thompson it was the rigorous medical tests.The trainers and the team doctors, they were all just moving my knee around, Thompson said. Making sure everything was strong. All the doctors said that everything looked good.Thompson didnt run at the NFL Combine, but he is making progress. He said he began straight-line running in early February and he has done side-to-side shuffling with no knee problems while working out at Athletes Performance in Pensacola.And Thompson has one more surprise in store. When he returns to Doak Campbell Stadium on March 19 for Florida States Pro Day, just five months after the knee injury, Thompson wont hold anything back.Im going to run at pro day, which is a surprise to a bunch of people, Thompson said. That just shows how good I feel right now. Still have a long way to go. Where I am right now, Im satisfied.
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