MORGANTOWN, W.Va.– West Virginia University’s Jordan Thompson may be the littlest player on the field, but the senior wide receiver stands tall on and off the field.
The 5-foot-7, 176-pound wideout earned the nickname “Squirt” as a freshman from his former teammate Stedman Bailey because of his size.
Bailey got the name from the movie “Finding Nemo.” Disney fans may remember Squirt as a small sea turtle whose father was named Crush.
Even though “Squirt” may be small in stature, he makes up for it in heart both on and off the field.
WVU fans see Thompson on the field grinding every Saturday. “Squirt” typically goes up against players bigger than him.
“Daikiel (Shorts), we do the dirty work,” Thompson said. “We always tell the outside receivers that we do the dirty work. We are always blocking. We got to block guys bigger than us.
“We get banged up. Every time we get the ball we are never in open space. There is always somebody around us. It’s a team game. We are doing our job. As long as the outsides keep doing their job, it will open up for the insides and vice versa. When we get the opportunity to make plays, Daikiel and me are going to make plays.”
Thompson has 118 yards through four games with WVU this season.
There is another side to Katy, Texas native that fans don’t see. He isn’t on the field to try and become an NFL star. Instead, the wide receiver is playing for something different, his education.
“Education is always key,” he said. “They can take away a lot of things. You can lose your athletic career through injury. You never know when it’s over. But once you have a degree, no one can take it from you.”
A degree is important to a lot of people, but Thompson already has two very important reasons to make his much more special.
He has two little girls to care for, Raedyn and Carter.
“I just know on the field that I have a mission in football, and that’s to succeed personally and as a team,” Thompson told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette after the birth of Raedyn. “When my daughter came, that even gave me more motivation to succeed. I want to give her a chance.
“I first have to get my degree, because if I get my degree she has to get her degree. There’s no question about it.”
Thompson has since finished his degree and is currently taking some online classes while playing in his senior season for the Mountaineers.
That takes some off his plate, but how does Thompson balance fatherhood and football?
He credits the girls’ mother and her parents for their help.
“Football and just balancing the kids, me and their mom work out our schedules,” Thompson said. “Our schedule is actually opposite. When I am at football, she is not working and when I am home, she’s working. So it balances out perfect.
“Also, we have our family, her family helping us out as well. They live two hours away in Webster County. They always come up here on Friday and help us.”
Thompson has plenty of motivation and help to make him a success on and off the field.