Thompson, Anthony

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Cards: Pro Set 1990 MAW, Action Packed Rookies 1990
Acquired: TTM 2013, C/o Home
Sent:  7/6    Received: 1/28/14   (206 days)

pho athompson2A two time Big 10 rushing champion, Anthony Thompson put the Indiana Hoosiers football program briefly back on the map with his solid NCAA career from 1986-1989. He’d finish second in the Heisman Trophy race in 1989 to Andre Ware, but win the Maxwell Award after finishing his senior season with 358 carries for 1,793 yards, and 24 TDs rushing.   Anthony amassed 5,299 yards and 67 rushing TDs, including an NCAA single game record of 377 yards rushing against Wisconsin in 1989, breaking the record held by Rueben Mayes and Mike Pringle.  His 67 rushing TDs were at the time an NCAA record as well, but have both been since surpassed.

A deeply pious individual, Anthony never knew his patience would be so tested at the pro level. The 1990 draft was considered to be a decent followup to the 1989 blockbuster, and runningback was a pretty deep class. It’s amazing looking back at how Thompson was the 8th RB taken off the board- at only the 31st overall pick (2nd round). The Cardinals were a team mired in misery. The punching bag of the NFC East, Phoenix had not had a runningback rush for over a 1,000 yards since Ottis Anderson was jettisonedpho athompson1 in favor of Stump Mitchell back in ’85. Thompson was immediately pencilled in as the starter, but as a contract holdout dragged on, a late start allowed 7th round pick Johnny Johnson usurped the starting role. There were flashes from Anthony when Johnson was not in the lineup, as Thompson averaged over 100 yards per game for a 3 game stretch his rookie year, but outside of that, it was a frustrating campaign in Phoenix. Anthony was released by the Cardinals during the third week of the 1992 season.  Given an audition by the Los Angeles Rams, he suited up for 7 games for the team that year, but played primarily on the scout team. He’d be waived by the team in 1994, but not before he was immortalized in Tecmo Super Bowl.

pset90 athompson MAXAnthony eventually went back to college and finished his Batchelor’s of General Science in 2002, and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007. He currently is a Pastor in Indiana.

A class act all the way around, Anthony actually sent me a manila envelope with my cards and the two additional photo cards covering his career at Indiana. It may have taken sometime, but it was totally worth it considering the return.

G/Gs  37/7    Rush  251    Yds 831    Avg 3.3     Td 6      Lg 40   |
Rec   14      Yds  74      Avg 5.3     Td 0    Lg 14