football Edit

Trainer Leroy Thompson working with some NJ's best during pandemic

Earlier this year, the outbreak of Covid-19 caused trainings and workouts to come to a screeching halt as many gyms, fields and facilities were ordered to shut down.

However, that didn't stop gyms and trainers from getting creative and innovative in producing workouts for their clientele. One trainer who has been doing his best during this time to help keep some of the top lineman prospects in the Garden State in shape has been Leroy Thompson of Complete Players, Inc.

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The Knight Report spoke with coach Thompson about how his training sessions got started, what precautions he’s been taking and he also gave us a few evaluations on some of the guys he’s working with which include No. 1 overall player in New Jersey for the 2021 class Tywone Malone.

“I originally played 13 years of Arena football and my last season was 2008, when I started having to battle some injuries during the season,” Thompson told TKR. “So what my coach did was instead of having me just sit there and do nothing, he would have me on the sidelines with a coaches shirt on just helping. I really kind of caught the bug of coaching right after that. I retired shortly after that and then in July and August of 2008, I got a call from current Tennessee Titans quarterbacks backs coach Pat O’Hara when he became the head coach of the Los Angeles Avengers and hired me to join his staff. So that’s how I got my start into coaching.”

When Covid-19 hit, Thompson was in the middle of training some of the top defensive line prospects in the state. Although many gyms and fitness centers were ordered to shutout at the end of March, Thompson was able to alter his workout routines and continue to work with his clients.

“I was already training Tywone Malone and Marcus Winfield before this started happening, but you know it’s tough and it’s not tough to do workouts during all of this,” said Thompson. “I try to take the necessary precautions, sanitize, wear a mask, etc. as much as I can. Obviously there are a lot more things I wish I could do, that I can’t do drill wise and I try to stay away from those things. But, when you’re talking defensive line play, it is what it is. Ninety-95 percent of my drills are guys doing drills by themselves and I try to do a good job of picking and choosing what drills to do and not to do. There is not one gym, or up until recently kids couldn’t even go to football fields to workout. That’s just the best you can do. Offers and scholarships aren’t guaranteed and when its time to get back on the field, your coach is not going to want to hear 'coach I couldn’t do any drills cause of what happened'. These guys have been working all their lives to achieve something and it’s something I can bring to the table to help them get there.”

THOMPSON ON TYWONE MALONE: “He is the total package - size, strength, explosiveness, IQ and personality. He brings it all to the table, but the thing that I feel like really separates him is his athletic ability and his explosiveness. Those two things are something that you don’t see out of a lot kids who play high school ball, but the ones that do have those attributes are generally the top guys. For example, Aaron Lewis from last year, he had that same get off, quickness and motor to get to the ball. That is the stuff that separates one guy from another. I really think and it’s probably cause of baseball a little, but Tywone isn’t in the weight room as much over the years as he should be, but he’s still crazy strong. When he pushes the bag or something with the hands, he has some real deal strength and explosiveness there.”

THOMPSON ON RAKIM COOPER: “I’ve only worked with him once or twice now. A lot of these guys I really wish a had a chance to work with them in the past, I kind of use the first session to get an assessment. It was really kind of hard, cause his first sessions was with seven other guys. We’ve done some 1-on-1 work and he’s a big kid, with some great athletic ability for his size. I had a chance to take a couple of his punches and strikes, seems like he has the strength. As a high school kid when you have the size and the ability to bring the strength with it, you can make a lot of noise at the high schools level. My cousin Scott Gould coached him at Pop Warner over in Matawan, a spot where a lot of those guys teamed up like Tywone (Malone), Jayden (Bellamy) and Jaedan (Gould). So these guys have all been coached well and they know what it takes to get better and they all will."

THOMPSON ON MOULTRIE: "He’s a defensive end at Long Branch, but he’s about 6-foot-3, 215-pounds and he’s out of position a little bit. He’s never played linebacker before, so we’ve been working on a lot of linebacker stuff lately. Try to get him a little more noticed.”

THOMPSON ON BROGNA:“Kid is a hard worker, big kid, stout and has some quickness to him. I work with him every Wednesday and Saturday and he’s really done some good things since we started. Hopefully some things will start turning up for him. Heck of a worker.”

Along with all of the above names, coach Thompson has also been doing a lot of work with guys such as Boston College defensive lineman Marcus Valdez, 2021 OL/DL Cameron McNair, 2022 Caron McNair, 2022 defensive lineman Tyler Booker and many others as well.

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