We talk a lot about how those we feature in People to Watch are helping build Columbus. That's not usually as literally true as it is in the case of Blake Compton.

We talk a lot about how those we feature in People to Watch are helping build Columbus. That's not usually as literally true as it is in the case of Blake Compton.

He founded Compton Construction in 2012, and odds are good you've experienced at least one of the company's projects, especially if you're a fan of local brews. But Compton's success story is a strange tale of the convergence of a love for construction and soccer hooliganism.

"It was a part-time job that turned into a passion," Compton recalled during an interview at Land-Grant Brewing Company in Franklinton (not coincidentally a Compton Construction project). "I fell in love with construction, and that was 2006 ... which was also a World Cup year."

It's not surprising that Compton tells time this way. His love for soccer both as a player and fan come into play in this tale. In 2008, Compton got involved with unofficial Columbus Crew fan organization the Hudson Street Hooligans. In 2009, he received one paycheck before being laid off from the construction company he worked for.

"I didn't have a college degree [and] I had three years of experience in an industry where people who had 30 years of experience were laid off," Compton said. "So I just decided to be a full-time soccer fan for three or four years."

He turned his soccer fandom into his profession, selling more than $100,000 in tickets one year through his affiliation with Hudson Street Hooligans and making connections along the way that would spark his next step. "What I learned running the Hooligans, selling tickets, negotiating ticket deals, helping create [Crew SC fan section] the Nordecke, doing merchandise, event planning … was how to make friends," he said.

"I [made] a bunch of friends where, flash-forward to 2012 when I started Compton Construction, they're like, 'Oh, hell yeah! I'm starting a business, too. Build my business,'" he said. "Now a lot of my clients are old soccer buddies that I had from 2008 to 2011."

One early client also set in motion what would become a boon for Compton: brewery construction. In the early days of his business, Compton would reach out to any new business he would hear about to see if he could fill their construction needs. "Geoff [Towne] at Zauber was like, 'Well I already have a guy, but I like soccer, so let's meet,'" said Compton.

Zauber became his first client, as Compton built its original nano brewery on Norton Avenue, which gave his company experience in what was about to become a boom industry in Columbus. The company soon went to work on a slew of brewery projects, including Lineage Brewing, Four String Brewing Co., Kindred Artisan Ales and, of course, Land-Grant.

One aspect that drives Compton is the businesses he works with. "I'm not a divorce attorney where your clients are always miserable and pissed off," he said. "I deal with people that are succeeding at something so much they have to expand or grow."

And while he's an established success, Compton is on this year's Alive list because even bigger things are in store. Compton Construction is currently undertaking one of its largest projects, the second-floor expansion of the Columbus Idea Foundry in Franklinton (founded by People to Watch alum Alex Bandar).

And Compton has begun moving into real estate with some partners, including a development to be called East Public on Parsons Avenue, and renovations for the building that was to become the (now-defunct) Franklinton Tap Room.

When asked about the legacy he wants to leave, Compton pondered for a minute. "Success to me is a legacy," he said. "It's when your business runs on your morals, ethics and ideals without you. It's when people tell your story when you're no longer around, and people are creating new stories because of the stories they learned from you."

We think they will be, Blake.