Tyrell Thompson is a 6-4, 290-pound defensive tackle playing football for the Tarleton State University Texans. He was chosen as a second-team preseason All-America by D2Football.com entering the 2018 season.

The senior kinesiology major has helped lead the Texans to a 7-0 start this year and a No. 9 national ranking. The Texans whipped Texas A&M-Kingsville 59-21 last Saturday. They will travel to Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls today for a 7 p.m. contest against 10th-ranked Midwestern State University.

As a junior in 2017, Thompson was a first-team all-Lone Star Conference selection for the Texans, totaling 57 tackles in 11 games, including 24 solo stops. He forced three fumbles, and two of those were returned for touchdowns by teammates. Ten of his tackles were for a loss. He added 4.5 quarterback sacks.

Thompson, a 2015 graduate of Copperas Cove High School, played football his sophomore year for Trinity Valley Community College, where he was a first-team all-conference performer and the team’s defensive most valuable player. He played for Blinn Junior College his freshman year.

The Empire-Tribune connected with Thompson to offer up five questions, and here are his responses:

E-T: What do you love most about football?

Thompson: “It’s an outlet because life is stressful. It helps me release energy and stress. Just the love of the game. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

E-T: Do you set a goal for each football season?

Thompson: “I look at my stats and try to double it, or at least get the same amount or better.”

E-T: What is your second-favorite sport?

Thompson: “Definitely basketball. I was recruited to play football and basketball by Trinity Valley. I had to make a decision between football and basketball.”

E-T: Do you have a favorite hobby when you’re at home?

Thompson: “I really like playing video games. I enjoy staying home. Play video games, or talk to my brother (Tyrone McKinney).

E-T: What would be your ideal career?

Thompson: “I want to try for the NFL, or become a coach or athletic trainer. I want to stay around the game.”