The talented 6-foot, 177-pound playmaker has scholarship offers from Appalachian State, Duke, East Carolina, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Old Dominion, Penn State, and UNC-Charlotte.
"He's meant everything, he's meant so much to us," said Laspada. "He's a leader, he gets in done in the classroom, and he's just a tremendous athlete."
"He will open a lot of people's eyes this spring when we go to these combines because most people don't think about football when someone says Swansboro. But when they see this kid perform, they're going to know he's the real deal."
What makes Thompkins so good?
"DeAndre just has an extreme work ethic," Laspada said. "He puts God first, then family, then his teammates. He treats his teammates like family. DeAndre also has a 3.8 GPA."
"Another thing that is unbelievable, is that he always gives all the credit to his teammates. A lot of big-time players are all about themselves, but he's all about the team. He's just so humble."
Off the field, Thompkins is all about helping others.
"He commits a lot of time to the community and his church," said Laspada. "He's always willing to help out in any way that he can. He's also been very, very good to the younger kids at the school. Even if they're not an athlete and they come in and don't know where they're going for the first couple of days, he'll be the one that volunteers to show them where they need to go. He's just an awesome kid."
The sky is the limit for Thompkins on the field.
"He could be the best player I've ever been around in coaching," said Laspada, who has been in the profession for 21 years. "I've seen some good ones, including Mario Williams (former N.C. State star and current Buffalo Bills defensive end). As far as speed, athleticism, and the ability to make people miss – it's unbelievable. When he gets to the next level…you better watch out."
"He'll be successful in whatever he decides to do. Does he have the ability to go to the next level after college? I believe so. He's got such good parents. They're going to make sure he keeps God first, education second, and football will take care of itself.