Normally when a person is accused of a crime, their legal counsel advises them not to make any prolonged public statements. That can be frustrating for an accused person who maintains his innocence.
So it’s under that umbrella that Alabama sophomore safety Deionte Thompson played this season. That being, he stayed silent while some accused him of something he and his family say he didn’t do.
That is until Saturday when Thompson broke his silence while thanking the coaching staff, his teammates and most of all his family for supporting him through his ordeal.
Thompson was accused and subsequently indicted on charges that he was a participant in a brawl that left one 18-year-old Texas man seriously hurt. The fight occurred in April in Thompson’s home state of Texas. The victim of the attack, Noah Frillou, claims Thompson kicked him in the head. Thompson and several witnesses say Thompson did no such thing.
“It was very difficult. What they accused me of I didn’t do,” Thompson said Saturday morning during the Sugar Bowl media day. “I’m looking for my day in court to clear my name. That’s all I’m really going to say on that. I don’t really pay attention to what other people say on the situation because they don’t really know what’s going on.”
Alabama coach Nick Saban has closely monitored the case and Thompson never received any disciplinary action from the team, a sign that Saban believes his player did nothing wrong.
Thompson’s father, Vester Thompson, has steadfastly supported his son. It’s a support that means the world to the younger Thompson.
“My family and my teammates as a whole, they’ve embraced me and made me feel better,” Deionte Thompson said. “They know what type of person I am, that I wouldn’t do anything of that nature. Just them having my back, my family, my dad, my mom, coach Saban, they’ve been huge supporters.”
Having his back
Another proponent has been his position coach, Derrick Ansley.
“We were just trying to gather as much information as we could,” Ansley said. “His dad did a really good job of keeping us abreast of what was going on back there. It was a situation of wrong place, wrong time. He didn’t do anything. I don’t really know where they’re at in the legal process now, but it sounds like he’s going to be not found guilty of anything, which is good.
“He just has to learn from that experience and see how fast things can really turn if you get yourself at the wrong place at the wrong time. We’ve supported him every step of the way. He hadn’t had any significant change in how he’s behaving. He’s going about his business like a professional.”
Thompson is expected to help fill the role in the secondary of Hootie Jones, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Auburn game. His teammates have spoken highly of him and highlighted the progress he’s made this season.
Thompson has played in all 12 games, registering 18 tackles and an interception.
Reach Aaron Suttles at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0229.