He was one of the last players to make the Baltimore Ravens roster this season. As an unsigned free agent, Ravens rookie wide receiver Deonte Thompson says he’s enjoying the opportunity of a lifetime. There aren’t many first year players in the NFL that get the opportunity to play during the regular season and then be part of their team going on to the Super Bowl.
The wide receiver, out of the University of Florida, was kind enough to join us live from New Orleans as we count down the few days left until Super Bowl 47. You can read the highlights and listen to the entire CYInterview:
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Reflecting on this special opportunity to be on a Super Bowl team, Deonte says this:
“Oh man, it’s awesome man. There’s nothing like it man. You know, opportunity of a lifetime man. Just enjoying it, soaking it all in. … I learned so much man from veteran guys man. Really just learn how to work hard, take advice, play as a team man. I mean, just playing with these guys like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and all these guys man, privilege.”
The transition from college football player to NFL player is a big learning process. Deonte says playing on this team has been a pro football education:
“Just learn how to just pretty much just take care of your body man, just being a professional man pretty much. These guys are the pros man. Being around these guys every day just teaches you how to be a pro.”
Focusing on what the Baltimore Ravens must do to beat the San Francisco 49ers on Super Bowl Sunday, the rookie says this:
“We just gotta come out and play Baltimore Ravens football man. We come out and play like we always play and no telling what can happen. … I mean, the skies the limit for us man. I think we loaded in every position, especially offensively man. We got some weapons to stretch the field. We got guys like Anquan [Boldin] to throw across the middle. It’s going to be great man. … I think we just come out and play our ball how we always have been playing throughout this playoff run, we’ll be good.”
Deonte Thompson and San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald both played their college football at the University of Florida. Additionally, they both played their high school football at Glades Central High School in Belle Glade, Florida. Deonte says there is some history there:
“Ray [McDonald] my guy man. You know his granddad was my track coach. We were All High School so pretty close with him man, just great man that we had an opportunity to be on the two Super Bowl teams man. It’s crazy. We come from the same small town, small as our town is, it’s crazy.”
The Super Dome in New Orleans, where Super Bowl 47 is being played, is no stranger to Deonte. In 2010, he played for the University of Florida in their Sugar Bowl win against Cincinnati. That was also Tim Tebow’s last college game:
“It’s great. Last time I played here we kicked butt. … We had a great game. Actually, that was Tim’s last game as a Gator, Tebow’s last game as a Gator. … I got a few stories man. I mean it’s great playing with a guy like that man [Tim Tebow]. You know, he coming out, there’s nothing like it man. He has us ready.”
As far as what he has learned from the veteran Baltimore Ravens wide receivers like Anquan Boldin and Torey Smith, among others, the Raven rookie says this:
“I learned so much man, just learned the patience in your routes and stuff like that man, just being a pro man from these guys. I’ve never seen so many pros. These guys take their work very serious. So just being around them, you have no choice but step your game up in here and feed off that.”
For a rookie free agent, it is the opportunity of a lifetime. Deonte talks about that and his hopes for the future:
“I just say God is good man. You know, coming from not playing, a job to playing to getting ready to play in the Super Bowl is just crazy. … I just want to be in Baltimore for a while man, keep winning those Super Bowls. That’s all.”
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