"Even I expected more," he said. "I personally expected more and knew I could do more than what I did."
A story developed as the season progressed and as Thompson only caught one pass for 11 yards in the final seven games, but Thompson said it was hard to adjust and develop so quickly.
"Especially with those superstars," he said.
When spring football started and Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey were preparing for the NFL draft, Coach Dana Holgorsen and offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson both simply refused to discuss Thompson or anything he was doing in practice until he did something in a game.
Thompson injured his left shoulder in the first week of spring practice and was out or limited for most of the 15 practices. When the spring game came around, Thompson caught six passes for 123 yards and three touchdowns. That came a year after he caught eight passes for 66 yards and a score.
After the three-touchdown game, Holgorsen called Thompson the "greatest spring game player of all-time," which was not a compliment.
Thompson knew about the line, but he wasn't aware of the chatter that surrounded it. He said he wasn't sure what he did to be on probation by the coaches, but that he was more concerned about getting back to a good place. That meant accepting what he could not change and trying to make use of it.
"They knew last year wasn't really a great season for me and it was disappointing for myself," he said. "But I look at it and I'm glad I had that season. I felt like I built experience as a freshman, and because I gained a little experience, I can relay that to a lot of the first-year players. That's making the team grow and grow and grow, and we're going to play together for a couple of years."
Thompson caught only three passes for 30 yards against Oklahoma State, which brought his season total all the way up to four catches and 35 yards. He didn't even play between his one reception against Oklahoma and three receptions against Oklahoma State, but he started against the Cowboys and played the most he's played this season once Mario Alford was knocked out of the game
Whether the challenge of his coaches was met, or that those coaches just needed a body, Thompson spent this week working on punt returns and kickoff returns as the Mountaineers try to find someone who can do something there.
Thompson is finally a part of the conversation.
"I feel like I'm playing a bigger role on this team than I did last year, but my freshman year was still good for me," he said. "I was able to actually get on the field and get experience with the speed of the game, but this year, I can translate it so much better. I feel co much more comfortable being on the field. I can say I'm 100 percent more comfortable than I was last year."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.