Thompson’s gathering storm fuels Hawk defenders

malcolm thompson_peter lee
Photo: Peter Lee, Waterloo Region Record

Christine Rivet
Waterloo Region Record

WATERLOO, ON — Meet Malcolm Thompson.

He’s a bespectacled, friendly, fun-loving Laurier Golden Hawk defensive back away from the game, until the 20-year-old Windsor native scratches at the sidelines.

That’s when the storm clouds gather.

“He plays angry,” explained Hawks head coach Michael Faulds of his game-breaker.

“Whether Malcolm is tackling a running back or defending a receiver in coverage, he has an attitude about him that elevates the level of the players around him.”

Faulds, whose gridiron Hawks kick off their regular season when the Queen’s Golden Gaels visit University Stadium on Sunday at 1 p.m., has seen this sort of thing before.

“Some guys that are super fun away from the game have that other side to them. And Malcolm is like that. He knows when to turn it on and off.”

Despite his many positive attributes, Thompson mostly flies under the radar at Laurier.

That’s because the Hawk defence is lit up with a constellation of stars — like the Ontario conference’s reigning lineman of the year, Kwaku Boateng, linebackers Nakas Onyeka and Brandon Calver and defensive back Godfrey Onyeka, etc. etc.

But rival coaches have taken notice, voting Thompson to the Ontario University Athletics second-team of all-stars last season.

A first-time starter last season, Thompson has been a quick study.

In the 11 university football games Thompson has played, he’s already returned errant balls three times for touchdowns, including a massive 50-yard fumble recovery for a score in last weekend’s 37-33 exhibition loss to Vanier Cup finalists, the Montreal Carabins.

The five-foot-11, 190-pound Thompson, like many of his teammates, is a natural athlete in any sport.

He played hockey, soccer, basketball and ran track through his high school years at Holy Names High School, even advancing to OFSAA as the city champ in long jump and triple jump.

But football is ultimately where he can slip into his enraged game-day persona with the most ease.

“We all see something special this year. We can feel it,” said Thompson.

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