DeAndre Thompkins joined Penn State as part of the 2014 recruiting class. A four-star receiver from North Carolina, Thompkins originally committed to Bill O’Brien in the spring of 2013, and held firm in his commitment after James Franklin took over.
After wearing a red shirt for the 2014 season to bulk up, DeAndre was poised to begin contributing regularly in 2015, but was overshadowed by other wideouts on the team - namely Chris Godwin, DaeSean Hamilton, and Geno Lewis. Despite the tremendous competition he faced in the receiving corps, he was determined to see the field - and his sub-4.50 40 yard speed was put to good use as punt returner.
On the season, Thompkins averaged 7.7 yards per punt return, ranking 38th in FBS - a better ranking than many fans of the team would believe, given the special teams woes of the last two years. Unfortunately for DeAndre, he seemed to get inside his head a bit as the season went on, leading to several fumbles. By far the most costly such fumble was against Michigan, in which he lost a punt return inside the ten yard line, leading to a Michigan touchdown.
Despite the ups and downs of last season, Thompkins continued to improve over the off-season, and is ready to help bolster continuously improving special teams and offensive units.
Only 3 more days until your Nittany Lions kick off!