The Draft Daze interview tour continued with one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft, South Dakota tackle Tom Compton. Compton, a native of Rosemount, Minnesota, never expected to be on the NFL’s doorstep, as one of the players expected to be picked in the middle rounds of next week’s draft. Compton was lightly recruited out of high school, gaining scholarship offers from mostly Division II schools in Minnesota and the Dakotas.
But he blossomed at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, a city of just 10,000 people in the southeast corner of the state. He was a four-year starter on the offensive line and added about fifty pounds to his frame, which is now prototype tackle-size (6-5, 314 pounds). Add that to a kid who possesses a good work ethic and athleticism and you’re left with a possible sleeper pick in the draft’s middle rounds. He’s had personal interviews with the Texans, Saints, and Chargers, and made a pre-draft visit with the Minnesota Vikings, the team he rooted for growing up.
Compton’s story is already an interesting one. But next week, it will get even better.
Here’s an excerpt from my interview with Compton. Everything else will appear in the book.
It’s been a while since your school has had someone drafted (Chul Swanke in the 11th Round of the 1986 Draft). Is that exciting for you to perhaps get some publicity for your school?
It’s a really cool position that I’m in. Being the first guy drafted in the seven-round format would mean a lot to me, getting to represent the people I’ve come to know. It would be a cool way to pay back the school and maybe bring in some good recruits and help their program.
Did you think the NFL might be a possibility coming out of high school?
I hadn’t even thought of the NFL at all really. I just wanted to play college football at the best school I could go to. I wanted to play Division I, whether it was Division I or Division I-AA. I didn’t want to walk on, I just wanted to have a good experience at college and play football.
Did you get a lot bigger during colllege?
I got there at about 260 pounds and played my reshirt freshman year at 285. I was fortunate enough to start as a redshirt freshman and start every game for four years. That definitely was a cool thing to have happened. It allowed me to put a lot of tape out there.
Many thanks to Tom for the interview amid the hectic nature of draft season. Look for his name during next week’s draft coverage on ESPN and the NFL Network.