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Patience and success: Brenen Thompson's approach to life and football

Julio Vega
Amarillo Globe-News
Spearman's Brenen Thompson, who held more than 30 collegiate offers, announced his top 3 list Friday, which included Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas A&M.

SPEARMAN, Texas — When he’s not in pads, cleats and a helmet, Brenen Thompson can be found with a hunting rifle or fishing pole.

Often going to a ranch in Canadian with his grandfather, Thompson shot his first deer when he was about seven years old. 

This is an escape for Thompson, a separation from football. While fishing with his friends, it’s the same thing. There’s no football or school talk, just a chance to be a regular person.

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These hobbies of Thompson have taught him to learn to live life patiently, something he learned from his grandfather.

“It’s called fishing for a reason, not catching. It’s not killing, it’s hunting,” Thomson said.

This time away from the field has given the senior a chance to reflect on everything that has happened over the past 12 months: A stellar junior season, a multitude of college offers and the stress and pressures of choosing the next step in his life through football.

Thompson had a huge list of schools that were trying to recruit him — nearly 40 in total. That list was whittled down to just three on Friday: the University of Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State.

Spearman's Brenen Thompson announced his top 3 list Friday, which included Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas A&M.

It’s not surprising that such distinguished programs are vying for his talent.

As a junior, Thompson recorded more than 2,000 all-purpose yards for the Lynx. His 782 yards and 12 touchdowns on 48 receptions are impressive enough. Add another dozen scores on the ground, 749 yards on 45 carries and a clearer picture emerges of just how dynamic of a player he is.

Heading into his senior year, Thompson has compiled an enviable résumé of more than 4,300 career yards and 62 touchdowns, something many high school players never come close to in their four years of playing on varsity.

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This past summer has been full of college visits, football camps and communicating with college coaches. Spearman head coach Aaron Witten said those experiences don’t just stay inside Thompson’s head, but get shared with the team.

“He jumps out there and shows his teammates, gives them little hints that he’s pick up on,” Witten said. “When he goes to camps and colleges, he’s learning from some really good coaches and trainers. He brings that stuff back and helps his teammates with it. He doesn’t keep it to himself.”

Spearman's Brenen Thompson goes through practice, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, at Lynx Stadium in Spearman.

Thompson said he loves the attention he gets because it also exposes Spearman to the outside.

Spearman isn’t just Brenen Thompson.

Players like Brayden Klafka, a talented two-way player who can hold his own against his teammate, also get exposure. Fabian Hernandez shouldn’t also be overlooked, who is a looming running back who will help get hard yards on the ground. Young talents such as the Seaman twin brothers, one a quarterback and the other a budding cornerback.

Ask Thompson any question about himself and he’ll always deflect them in some way to his team.

“It takes 11 on offense and 11 on defense. I’m responsible for only a part of that,” Thompson said.

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Spearman's Brenen Thompson holds more than 30 offers, but cut it down to three on Friday -- including Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas A&M. He attempts to catch a football after practice, Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, at Lynx Stadium in Spearman

Even though his contributions on offense are getting rave attention, Thompson also contributes on defense as a cornerback, again paired with Klafka. His mindset doesn’t change, however. The motive simply flips, which is to prevent scores.

Thompson shows his leadership not just by shouting or letting his game do the talking. He goes out of his way to help younger players and show them how to play the Spearman way — to play hard and wage war.

Spearman will be hoping to prove that in a tough 3A district that includes the likes of state champion Canadian and Childress, each with star talents of their own.

Thompson knows his spotlight brings in added weight of expectations. That traverses beyond Spearman and into the other small towns of the Texas Panhandle.

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Spearman's Brenen Thompson is looking to pick between Texas. Texas A&M and Oklahoma State when it comes to his college destination. Before that, he's eager to help the Lynx win a state title.

“I’ve taken the whole situation and turned myself into an example, especially with little, younger kids and even kids in high school,” Thompson said. “If you want to be this guy, be this great, this is what it takes.

The senior knows he’s not perfect, nor is he playing on the football field at his best level yet. He’s human, one who makes mistakes as a person and athlete. He’s learned to have patience with himself in life and on the field.

He’s learning to fish and hunt, not catch or kill.