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Ronald Thompkins

Ronald Thompkins plays at Grayson High School in Georgia, which also has produced current Husker linebackers Mohamed Barry.

Nebraska got good news on the eve of its big recruiting weekend, but it's from a player already on the roster. 

Freshman running back Ronald Thompkins fully qualified and will be on campus next week to join Nebraska's summer program, a school spokesman confirmed to the Journal Star. 

There was never serious concern about Thompkins' standing and the staff knew he likely would not arrive on campus as early as most of the rest of Nebraska's freshman class, but at one point some at NU thought it might take until the beginning of fall camp to know for sure. It's still assuredly welcome news at Memorial Stadium, though, because the staff believes the Grayson (Georgia) High standout is one of the most talented running backs in the country when healthy. 

Health has been Thompkins' biggest battle recently, though, as he's had reconstructive surgery on each of his knees since the beginning of his junior year of high school. The injuries cut short his junior season midway through and his senior year after less than one half of one game. 

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“I think we’ll get him with our trainers just to see where he’s at, and they’ll give me an idea of where he’s at and then obviously the weight room stuff and Zach (Duval) can adjust accordingly so we’re not going out and doing anything that we’re not supposed to,” running backs coach Ryan Held said of Thompkins this spring. “He’s a guy that you see where he’s at, we build him up, and then if he’s cleared and going, let’s roll.

“I think if he wouldn’t have got injured, he would have been recruited by everybody in the country. And so maybe being injured reduced his recruiting or whatever, but obviously we’re excited to get him because I think he’s very talented.”

Thompkins' arrival means the Huskers will have every freshman they signed for the 2019 class on campus well before fall camp, making for a significantly smoother process than last summer when two players (receiver Dominick Watt and offensive lineman Willie Canty) ultimately did not qualify, and running back Maurice Washington did not join the program until the second day of preseason camp. 

The only remaining question mark is junior college defensive lineman Jahkeem Green (Highland Community College in Kansas), who verbally committed to the Huskers in April and is not expected to finish his online classwork until next month. He is also reportedly planning on taking an official visit to Texas Tech this weekend. 

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.

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Sports writer

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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