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Morning links: Darwin Thompson tabbed the 'gem of 2019 NFL RB class'; Michelle Obama tweets at Ekpe Udoh again

Utah State running back Darwin Thompson (5) runs onto the field prior to the start of USU's game against Tennessee Tech on Sept. 13 in Logan.
Utah State running back Darwin Thompson (5) runs onto the field prior to the start of USU's game against Tennessee Tech on Sept. 13 in Logan.

Justin Melo of USA Today's Draft Wire had a sit-down interview with former Utah State running back Darwin Thompson. At Utah State, Thompson racked up 1,044 rushing yards, scoring 14 touchdowns in the 2018 season — his only for the Aggies before declaring for the NFL Draft. Thompson also pulled in 23 receptions for 351 yards and two touchdowns. Before arriving in Logan, Thompson shined at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. Now, USA Today is calling him 'the gem of the 2019 NFL draft's RB class.'

Here are some highlights from the interview:

JM: You mentioned your ability to make a guy miss. You were credited with forcing 61 missed tackles on 175 carries. What makes you so elusive?

DW: That’s how I was raised. My dad used to give me five dollars for every touchdown I scored. He told me that I had to make the first person miss. Every great running back makes the first person miss. And if you make the second man miss as well, you’re gonna score a touchdown. That’s what my dad told me when I was young. I never forgot that. When I was in JUCO, I had to think back to a time when I played football for fun. I let myself get caught up in the business side of it. I kept thinking about getting out of JUCO and going D-I. I had to look back and remember what made football fun for me. What made football fun for me was making those guys miss and collecting those $5 from my father and making the guys on the opposing side of the field look dumb because they were playing against me and my feet.

JM: Who were some of your favorite running backs growing up?

DW: Marshawn Lynch, Adrian Peterson and DeMarco Murray, to name a few. Barry Sanders and Walter Payton were two others. Barry Sanders was the main one for me growing up because of my dad. He loved that guy. My personal favorites were LaDanian Tomlinson and Adrian Peterson because I thought I was gonna grow up to be 6-foot-2 (laughs). Once that didn’t happen, I turned to the guys that were my height. I started looking at them and studying their film. When I was a kid, I swore I was gonna be 6-foot-2 and running like Adrian Peterson.

Inside The Star, a Dallas Cowboys blog, also tabbed Thompson as a possible day three Cowboys pick.

Ekpe Udoh and Michelle Obama

Jazz center Ekpe Udoh has stepped up in the past couple of games. Derrick Favors has been sidelined with back spasms, playing just nine minutes in Friday's win against Washington and sitting out for Monday's game against Charlotte. Udoh has filled in for Favors, playing nine minutes in both the Wizards and Hornets games, scoring four points in each contest, along with pulling down three rebounds and blocking a shot on Monday.

Udoh has received attention for his book club, which holds weekly meetings — both on Twitter and in-person. Udoh just wrapped up his last in-person meetup of the season, but the book club will continue on Twitter, as the club is currently reading 'Becoming,' former First Lady Michelle Obama's memoir.

Obama previously chimed in on Twitter where Udoh was running a poll about which book the club should read next.

Obama again tweeted about the book club on Monday, saying "So excited that you’ll be reading my memoir, @EkpeUdoh — can’t wait to hear what you all discuss! #IAmBecoming #EkpesBookClub"

Other links

Utah State quarterback Jordan Love takes the time to make a young fan's day

The US Open had a funny April Fool's joke

And finally ...

Donovan Mitchell continued his nightly shoe giveaway by swapping a fan's shoes.