Dylan Thompson, QB at the University of South Carolina, His Life From Puppet to Platform

By Stephen Copeland | Sports Spectrum On November 18, 2013

Dylan Thompson had strings.

He moved the right way. He said the right things. He danced across the stage and nailed his lines. He was a shell of a man, a marionette that moved but had no life inside.

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One day, the strings broke, his body fell, and he lay all twisted up and lifeless on stage.

The lights went down. And the curtains closed.

The Stage

University of South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Dylan Thompson was the Tim Tebow of Boiling Springs (S.C.) High School.

He fit the mold perfectly.

Like Tebow, he was a natural-born leader, relational and vocal and bold, the kind of leader a team and town could rally around. Like Tebow, he was polite, just like his loving, church-going family who epitomized southern charm. Like Tebow, he was handsome and popular. Like Tebow, he veered from trouble; he sat in church; he thanked God in interviews; his image was squeaky clean. Like Tebow, he played quarterback; he was even 6-foot-3.

It was his athletic ability and Tebow-like charisma that propelled him into the South Carolina spotlight. A two-sport star at Boiling Springs, Thompson was practically offered a basketball scholarship from Louisiana Tech as a freshman; and he later received a football scholarship to play quarterback at the University of South Carolina. Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier was so set on Thompson, he recruited him personally.

"I saw leadership qualities in him when he was in high school," says his home pastor at Boiling Springs Baptist Church, Hank Williams. "I told him, 'You've been given a lot-naturally a nice-looking guy, nice athletic abilities, naturally born leader-but there are also requirements of that. To whom much is given, much is required."

Perhaps he was given so much he wasn't sure what to do with it all. His success and popularity not only made him the pride of Boiling Springs but also the rallying cry of Christians.

 

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