Blogs > Burney's Bytes

Burney's Bytes will focus primarily on the local preps sports scene, but will also touch on some college and pro athletics, mostly in regards to athletes who hail and have played high school sports in Oakland County. My goal for the blog is to be conversational and anecdotal, a more relaxed and free formal take on high school athletics than you see in regular game day coverage.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

New Blood

Move over former Oakland County prep star and current Walled Lake Northern hoops coach Ron Thompson, there's a NEW Ron Thompson in town. And with all due respect to the elder Ron Ron – who as a senior on the hardwood in 1993 was the leading-scorer for a Walled Lake Central team that went 25-1 and made a run into the Class A quarterfinals – , the new and younger Ron Thompson has quite a larger upside for success at the college level.
Unlike the old Ron Thompson, who starred on the basketball court and baseball diamond for the Central Vikings in the early-90s, but never continued his playing career following high school, the new Ron Thompson plays football. Well, maybe that's an understatement. Let's try it again;The new Ron Thompson dominates on the gridiron and takes names while doing it.
It's been recently announced that after playing last fall in Macomb County at Eastpointe East Detroit, Thompson, one of the top recruits in the state's coveted Class of 2012, will finish off his high school career and play his senior season in Oakland County at Southfield.
Standing 6-foot-4 and weighing in at over 240 pounds, with GINORMOUS hands and a CRAZY work ethic, Thompson is a highly sought after tight end/wide receiver prospect. As a junior last fall at East Detroit, he caught 41 balls for over 800 yards and 12 touchdowns. He currently holds over a half-dozen scholarship offers half of which hail from BCS schools. Thompson, who also plays on the defensive line and never played organized football until 2010, was one of the first recruits brand new Michigan head coach Brady Hoke offered once accepting the job in Ann Arbor.
With Thompson in the mix now with the Bluejays, Southfield stands to have a juggernaut of an offense next fall. Quarterback Justin Danzy is one of the county's leading returning passers and fellow pass-catchers, Leviticus Payne, Trey Walton and Brandon Bean will team with Thompson to make up a dangerous receiving corps. Brandon Watkins and Kevin Hines will hurt teams in the backfield for Bluejays head coach Tim Conley and benefit greatly from Thompson's arrival, if only for the running lanes he will open up with his stellar blocking.
Like Danzy, Payne had a breakout campaign in 2010 and since the end the season has earned a series of college scholarship offers, including one from Iowa. Bean, who will be entering his junior season in 2011, is the son of Vince Bean, the former Southfield legend and one-time Michigan Wolverine.
Because Thompson's mom has moved into the Southfield district, Thompson and his younger brother, Aaron, a talented sophomore to-be, will be eligible immediately when the new campaign kicks off in August. The older Thompson was also an important cog on the East Detroit basketball team this past winter, which ironically lost to Southfield in the Class A quarterfinals last month. His presence next winter in the line-up for Bluejays cage general Gary Teasley will help ease the burden of replacing an entire starting five off two straight state semifinal squads.
Conley and the Bluejays are coming off a season on the gridiron where they missed the playoffs following back-to-back years when they claimed district titles. In 2008, the Bluejays advanced into the Division 2 final four. Danzy was the starting quarterback on Southfield's 2009 district championship team.
Now with Thompson in the OAA White, joining Farmington Hills Harrison's Devin Funchess, an all-state selection last season for the state champion Hawks, the conference has arguably the two of the best tight end prospects in the entire state.


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