The star running back on the high school football team that won last year’s state championship in Georgia’s largest classification committed to Michigan State on Sunday night.
Nick Tompkins picked Michigan State over Illinois, Georgia Tech, Wisconsin and Maryland, among his 20 early scholarship offers.
“Michigan State felt like the perfect place for me, it was the complete package,” Tompkins told the AJC. “I gave it a lot of thought. I got that gut feeling about Michigan State and went with it. I knew they were only going to take one running back and I wanted it to be me.”
The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Tompkins will be following two of his teammates from Brookwood High School’s 2010 GHSA Class AAAAA state championship team to Michigan State. DB Andre Sims Jr. signed with Michigan State last February, while kicker Erick Yang will walk-on with the Spartans. Tompkins has one more season remaining at Brookwood.
Tompkins passed on the opportunity to follow in his father’s footsteps to play college football at another Big Ten school. Reggie Tompkins starred at Towers High School and later played wide receiver at Wisconsin.
“Nick felt like he wanted to play in the Big Ten,” the elder Tompkins said. “He likes the SEC, too. Georgia didn’t offer him. Florida came to see him but they obviously have a couple of commits. He liked Vanderbilt. He got offers from Ole Miss and Mississippi State, and that kind of thing.
“If Georgia Tech had offered him earlier, he would’ve probably committed to Georgia Tech back in February. When he didn’t get an early offer, he still really liked them. In fact, I thought it was going to be between Georgia Tech and Maryland. But the more time he spent with the Big Ten schools, the more he wanted to play in that conference.
“Michigan State said they were only going to take one running back for sure. They’ve offered some pretty good running backs, some of the top in the country. He wanted to make sure he would get that spot. He has been going back and forth the last 2-3 days talking with the Michigan State coaches. Nick is excited to be playing for the co-Big Ten champions. They have great fan support and he will get a great education.”
Tompkins has been clocked in the 40-yard dash at 4.38 seconds. Last year as a junior, Tompkins rushed for 1,890 yards and 22 TDs on 229 carries for 14-1 Brookwood.
“There are some people with questions: Is he big enough to play running back at the highest level of college football?” his father said. “They don’t question his speed and they don’t question his heart. But by the time he gets on campus at Michigan State, he’ll be at 190 pounds. He’s a young man and has time to develop. Nick likes challenges. He believes he can play running back for a big-time school in a big-time conference, and Michigan State provided that opportunity.”
Tompkins said he has a 3.2 GPA and will study business or engineering.
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