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Chris Thompson: Devonta Freeman's 'Like A Little Brother To Me'


Before they went their separate paths in the NFL, Chris Thompson and Devonta Freeman played together at Florida State where they created a special bond.

On Sunday, Chris Thompson and Devonta Freeman will be operating in different offenses, both of whom are coming off the two best performances of their young careers.

But long before the Redskins-Falcons matchup at the Georgia Dome, Thompson and Freeman were in the same running backs room at Florida State.

In the spring of 2011, Thompson and Freeman met for the first time, with the latter enrolling in college early.

"I watched him and just saw how he did a lot of things and he was a hard worker coming in as an 18-year-old guy," Thompson said this week. "And I just told him at one practice, I was like 'Man, I don't know what's going to happen but I say your chance is going to come real soon.'"

His chance came during his true freshman season, as Thompson, then a junior, went down with a back injury. He would finish the season with 579 yards before Thompson returned to the starter's role in 2012.

Fast forward to the 2015 regular season, and both are key contributors for two of the most productive offenses in the NFL.

Thompson has 11 carries for 93 yards and 11 receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown. Freeman, meanwhile, has a league-high seven rushing touchdowns through the first four games.

"He's like a little brother to me," Thompson said of Freeman. "His games might be some of the few games I watch on Sundays, because I usually don't watch any games after we play. When I see Atlanta on, I have to watch him and just pay attention to him, because, like I said, he came in as a freshman and then all he did was listen to me, and my running back coach at the time, he let me mentor him."

With the No. 154 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Redskins selected Chris Thompson out of Florida State. Here's a gallery of his collegiate career.

One of those games he watched was the Falcons' 39-28 victory over the Cowboys when Freeman, who was the team's primary back in replacement of rookie Tevin Coleman, carried the ball 30 times for 131 yards and three touchdowns.

His final touchdown effort put Atlanta up for good.

Was it a shock that Freeman, who had just one touchdown his rookie season 2014, put up those numbers? 

"What he's done so far, I'm not surprised," Thompson said. "He has [former Redskins running backs coach] Bobby Turner over there. Bobby T.'s going to make sure that he gets the best out of his guys and Davonte, he's one of those guys, he's not going to complain. He's just going to 'yes sir,' 'no sir.' Just keep it moving and continue to play hard. So I'm so happy for all the success he's getting so far."




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