Rosemount's Compton headed to Washington RedskinsAfter a long wait and a few false alarms, Tom Compton finally got the call he was waiting for Saturday afternoon. The call came from Virginia, and Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan was on the other end to let Compton know he was about to officially become a member of the National Football League.
By: Nathan Hansen, Rosemount Town Pages
After a long wait and a few false alarms, Tom Compton finally got the call he was waiting for Saturday afternoon.
The call came from Virginia, and Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan was on the other end to let Compton know he was about to officially become a member of the National Football League.
Shanahan and the Redskins selected Compton, a 2007 Rosemount High School graduate, with the 23rd pick in the draft’s sixth round. Compton was the 193rd selection overall.
“When I got that call, it was pretty amazing,” said Compton, who watched the draft Saturday in a house filled with family and friends. “He called me and said that he really liked me as a player. He said I’d be a perfect fit for their system.”
Compton didn’t actually hear his name called on the ESPN broadcast of the draft. Once he got the call, things in the house got a little chaotic. People were yelling and banging on the TV.
There were two groups watching the draft at Compton’s house, one in the garage and one in the basement, where Compton gathered with his friends.
The wait was a little longer than Compton might have expected going into the draft. He had been projected as a fourth- or fifth round pick, but as he tracked other players at his position he noticed they were all going undrafted longer than expected. He was confident his time would come, he said. He just didn’t know when.
There were a few false starts along the way. Compton got calls from a few teams who told him he was one of a small group of players they were considering. Or, the phone would ring and it would be a friend wanting to know if he could come over.
Compton is happy with where he ended up, though. He likes the players Washington drafted this year, and he could have the opportunity to protect the draft’s second overall selection, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.
“I’m looking forward to going out to D.C. That’s going to be a good time,” Compton said. “Everybody that they drafted, they’re all good players. Their team’s on the rise.”
Compton’s high school coach sees a good opportunity. Jeff Erdman said Washington needs quality depth on the offensive line, and he believes Compton can provide it.
Erdman remembers Compton as a big kid when he came into the RHS program and a bigger one when he left it.
“He got into track and football and started lifting a little more consistently and started filling out his body,” Erdman said. “Not the way he did in college.”
Compton, a two-year starter who helped the Irish to the state semifinals, was a thoughtful player in high school. He asked a lot of questions about why blocking schemes were set up a certain way. He is the first player Erdman has coached to make it to the NFL, and Erdman said Compton’s personal pride has something to do with that.
He expects Compton’s personality to help him find success in the NFL.
“His personality is very easy to like, and I think that bodes well for being on the offensive line,” Erdman said. “If you’re an offensive lineman and you’re a jerk, that’s a hard deal. There needs to be great chemistry between offensive linemen.”
It’s not clear yet exactly where Compton will fit with the Redskins, but his next several months are starting to take shape. He will leave Thursday for a rookie camp where he will start settling in and learning the team’s playbook. He’ll also get an offseason workout schedule.
“It will be quite an eventful summer,” Compton said. “It’s pretty much just back to work, working out. Getting bigger, faster. Back to the grind I’m used to, so that’s good.”