As we move along further down our list of the Top 60 players at Miami, we take a look at another talented receiver at No. 33: Redshirt freshman Kendall Thompkins. The 5-10, 170-pound speedster made quite an impression this spring and is hoping to be on the Canes "short bus" before the season begins.
> What we heard about him on Signing Day '08: After UM nabbed Aldarius Johnson and Tommy Streeter at Miami Northwestern as two of its top receiving targets, they happened to stumble upon Thompkins (who had just one offer from FIU) mid-season. The Canes are certainly happy they did. Thompkins was every bit as important to Northwestern's run to back-to-back state titles as any player on the team. The slot receiver made 46 catches for 839 yards and a team-leading 14 for scores as a senior. Rivals, Scout and ESPN.com didn't even have him ranked among the nation's top recruits until the end of the season. He ended up choosing the Canes, despite after taking a late trip to Nebraska.
> What he's done as a Cane: Thompkins made two catches for six yards in UM's first two games then missed the rest of the year with a wrist injury and earned a redshirt. This spring, however, he caught the attention of plenty during practice, making a number of big catches from the slot receiver position. He caught two passes for 45 yards -- including a 34-yarder from Taylor Cook in the spring game. Thompkins also shined during testing with strength and conditioning coach Andreu Swasey. He ran a 4.43 40-yard dash and the second-fastest short shuttle time (4.04) on the team.
> What Eye On The U expects from him in '09: It didn't take long to figure out who impressed receivers coach Aubrey Hill most this past spring. The first two names out of his mouth were Streeter and Thompkins. "Without a doubt he brings versatility because he can play slot and the outside receiver," Hill said in March of Thompkins. "He's become a valuable player already. He's very elusive. He can make the first guy miss. He can catch the passes." The Hurricanes have several talented players they can play in the slot -- Thearon Collier, Davon Johnson, even Graig Cooper if new offensive coordinator Mark Whipple wants to. But what separates Thompkins from most is his natural ability to find open spaces underneath and his tremendous route running. With as much attention as Johnson and LaRon Byrd will get on the outside, I believe its Collier and Thompkins who could ultimately lead the team in catches this season. It's just a matter of who emerges as that primary, No. 1 guy in fall camp. Right now, you'd have to give Collier (26 catches for 324 yards) a slight edge because of experience.