Mentors: Bolder Options

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Mentors: Bolder Options

When he was a schoolboy many years ago, a substitute teacher scolded Darrell Thompson because he signed the attendance sheet twice. Though his attempt at humor escaped her it wrought a harsh prediction he never forgot: “You will not amount to anything.”

Thompson graduated from John Marshall High School in Rochester, then went on to become a record-setting running back for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. The two-time team MVP remains the only Gopher to rush for more than 4,000 yards.

Less than 1 percent of college players advance to the pros. Thompson hadn’t planned to play pro football until scouts began courting him. During one meeting a scout asked Thompson what he wanted to do after football, adding, “Don’t tell me you want to work with kids.” That was precisely what he planned to do.

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