Please introduce yourself and give the readers a background of who you are.
DT: My name is D’Angelo Thompson from Baltimore, MD, I am a senior at Coppin State University majoring in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. A member of the Zeta Gamma Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc, and captain of our football team.
How old were you when you first got into football? Do you remember what it first felt like when you played the sport?
DT: I first began playing football at the age of six, at first I hated every moment of playing only because of the running I was a big kid so having to run wasn’t my favorite activity lol, but as I continued and started understanding the game more and more my talents started to show and I never looked back on playing this amazing game.
Going to high school, how was your first year of playing football? Did you start off on junior varsity or varsity?
DT: Going to high school I followed in my older brother’s footsteps and attended one of the top schools in the country for academics and football. I went to Our Lady of Good Counsel a football powerhouse in Olney, MD always ranking as top 25 teams in the country. I met my teammates in the 8th grade where we all played on the same team winning a championship then all going to the same high school and going undefeated as a freshman team winning another championship.
What moments stick out to you during your high school career? Also what accolades did you receive and which ones made you the proudest?
DT: The biggest moments in my high school career I would have to say would be fighting to get back on the field. My sophomore year I suffered a bad injury in a game-breaking my leg tibia and fibula which led to me needing 8 operations and being in a wheelchair for a year. My senior year I was able to come back and play 100%.
What offers did you have coming out of high school? Was there any other university you almost went to?
DT: Out of High School I had a preferred walk-on to Robert Morris University, an offer from Seton Hill University, and multiple division 3 offers. I chose to commit and play football at Stevenson University in Owings Mills, MD.
Coppin State is a small HBCU. What made you want to specifically play for them. Have you ever heard of them before or watched any of their games?
DT: Due to financial issues, I could only attend Stevenson University for one semester than was looking for another University to attend I thought my football career was over. My mother is an alumna from Coppin, and I knew I didn’t want to go to Morgan State for a fact lol, so I chose to join the Eagle family. First going to the school, I didn’t even know they had a football program until I saw a flyer for the tryouts.
What are some stereotypes that you hear about HBCU athletes? What do you think needs to be done to get more HBCUs athletes/programs the attention they deserve?
DT: I feel as though HBCU programs need a larger media outlet and more airtime on national television in order to be properly promoted to show athletes coming out of high school that you can achieve your goals of playing professionally through the numerous amounts of HBCU’s versus giving all of our talents to PWI’s.
Being a high standout to becoming a D1 athlete, how did that feel? Was there any nervousness and what were the expectations for yourself? You also are an All-American, was that a goal of yours coming to Coppin State?
DT: Coppin State football is the only program at the university that is not D1, the football program is a part of the NCAAF since our team is relatively new only being established for 10 or 11 years and our school only having a small number of students, we cannot qualify for the NCAA requirements to make our football program eligible. Becoming an all-American was definitely something I wanted to do coming in I played with a chip on my shoulder coming from my previous program thinking I wouldn’t even be able to play football again, pending the decision of them allowing us to play this season I will become an all-American again.
What would you say are some of the top distractions for D1 athletes? COVID-19 hit everyone hard. A lot of athletes didn’t get a chance to play in specific tournaments, how did it affect Coppin State’s football, and yourself.
DT: COVID-19 hit all athletes hard especially the seniors who lost their last year to play collegiately, for me personally, it allowed me to figure out what else I had an interest in outside of my sport. During this pandemic, I started a brand alongside three of my brothers and began my music career which is going very well.
What is going on with Coppin State’s football team? I see the team now has a reinstatement petition going on (which I’ll drop the link so people can sign).
DT: As of right now, the university wants to cancel the season, due to a number of players and vaccinations, but we are currently working on fixing that as we now have more interest due to the support of our Coppin community spreading the word that we are recruiting and now that students have now been able to move onto campus and see that we have a winning football program.
When did you realize you were good at football; that it could actually take you places?
DT: I’m a very confident person so close from the start I knew I had a chance to make it from playing football or basketball in eighth grade I had to make a decision whether I was going to high school for football or basketball which I ultimately chose football as my path.
What has the game of football taught you?
DT: Football has taught me that nothing is ever guaranteed no matter how planned out you have it in your mind, God will always have the last say in your journey.
Have you ever suffered any injuries in football? If so, what was the toughest one to come back from, and how was the rehab process?
DT: I have had multiple injuries in football broken ribs, fingers, broke my wrist twice, and my worst injury would have been breaking my leg. The toughest one to come back for sure was the leg injury that I had spoken about earlier.
Was there any time that you wanted to quit football? If so, why?
DT: Never I’m a firm believer in finishing what you start
What are your hopes for this football season? After your college is career is over is your ultimate plan to make the NFL?
DT: My goal for this season would be to lead our team to a national championship, I’m focusing on the present with this being my last season I just want to enjoy this year with my teammates and grind to be the best leader and teammate I can possibly be.
Last but not least please give your shoutouts!!!! Tell the readers where they can follow you!!
DT: Follow me on Instagram: @theyoungdlo
Follow our brand page: @loyaltyisrealapparel
Stream my music on all platforms; Young DLO- Nothing To Lose EP out now!