FootballFootball Recruiting

Thompson to Texas

Casey Thompson. (Will Gallagher/IT)
Casey Thompson. (Will Gallagher/IT)

AUSTIN — For the majority of Casey Thompson’s recruitment with Texas, it was about being patient.

Today, he was ready to cross that Red River.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound signal-caller from Southmoore, OK is the son of former Sooners’ QB Charles Thompson. But Casey wanted to forge his own path and pledge to Tom Herman and the Texas Longhorns today. Casey chose UT over North Carolina, Miami, Oregon, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, and OU.

“The fit, the relationship with the coaches, their current situation at QB, how early can I come in and compete,” Thompson told IT a few weeks back. “I’m not scared of competition though and just have to weigh out all the pros and cons of each school.”

Texas fit all those categories and Thompson will now make Austin his home.

Thompson is a member of the FAST 1v1 7-on-7 team out of Houston. He’s taken multiple visits to Austin with Junior Day Weekend in February doing a really good job of convincing him Austin should be his future residence. He’s expected in this weekend for the Orange-White scrimmage from DKR on Saturday.

Excerpt from the Recruiting Notebook from Feb, 2017:

Casey Thompson, QB – Moore, OK (2018)

How he fits at Texas: Thompson has a nice assortment of tools that include a strong arm and some nice accuracy when throwing down the field and working against coverage. The Southmoore offense appears to have been largely a “run it, then throw it deep off play-action” system where Thompson was involved in supporting the run both with his ability to hit isolated WRs down the field and with his legs in the QB option game. He reminds me of a slightly slower-triggered J.T. Barrett and as he gains comfort with progressions and gains weight he might have similar upside in Herman’s offense due to his dual-threat skill set. – Ian Boyd

Casey Thompson at the UA camp at Cedar Hill. (Justin Wells/IT)
Casey Thompson at the UA camp at Cedar Hill. (Justin Wells/IT)

Coach Says: Not a guy that is going to blow you away with his physical tools, but he accounted for 52 total touchdowns this past year with a 32-to-4 touchdown to interception ratio, so he takes care of the football. While he is labeled a dual-threat quarterback, he doesn’t necessarily have blazing straight line speed, but he is able to buy himself time and extend plays with his feet, and he can make tacklers miss when he pulls the ball down and takes off. He gets the ball out of hand pretty quick and seems to make his living off of the short and intermediate passes, so I wonder about his ability to push the ball down the field a bit. The furthest I see him pushing the ball down the field comes on flea-flickers (which they seemed to like to call a good bit), and while I don’t like to go overboard on arm strength, it’s something I am writing down for later.

How this affects Texas: Texas wants at least one signal-caller for the 2018 class. Thompson might be at the top of that list. The OU legacy isn’t getting much Sooner love and now UT is trying to pounce. He’s coming to Austin for Junior Day this weekend with his family in tow. Herman had Sam Ehlinger gift wrapped for him, so he wants to be sure his first true QB take at Texas is a good one. Thompson can be that take. – Justin Wells

Thompson is the 3rd commitment for UT’s class of 2018, joining Byron Hobbs (FW Eastern Hills – LB) and Justin Watkins (Ocala, FL – ATH).

Written 2/25 by Eric Nahlin:

The second Southmoore, Oklahoma, quarterback Casey Thompson was offered by UT it was easy to feel good about the Longhorns’ chances of landing the dual threat, despite his ties to the in-state Sooners. Fortunately for Texas, OU chose a quarterback from across the country, rather than the one who lived in its backyard and spent a lot of time in its film room.

You’ll hear no complaints from the Texas coaching staff, I’m sure.

A lot of factors make Thompson to Texas a great possibility: his fit in the offense; the fact both Oklahoma schools have quarterback commits; Thompson’s familiarity with a great many Texas targets; Thompson’s familiarity with offensive coordinator Tim Beck from his days at Ohio State; but, most importantly, Thompson is a 5-star when it comes to Herman’s favorite trait — the mental component.

Casey Thompson. (courtesy of NewsOK)
Casey Thompson. (courtesy of NewsOK)

If an obviously talented player never pans out, chances are he wasn’t simply a miss on “film.” He was a miss in the weight room, the film room, the classroom. He was a poor mental evaluation. Once a player meets a baseline level of requirements to play his position, the mental component is the most important trait to evaluate. It’s also by far the hardest.

The mental evaluation isn’t just determining intelligence, it’s character, both as a citizen and football player, it’s leadership, and it’s how much they love the game. For those reasons above all others, it’s easy to see why Tom Herman requested Thompson begin his visit on Friday and end it on Sunday. Herman’s getting to know Thompson, and his family, as well as he possibly can, save a Jim Harbaugh sleep-over. Thompson, smart as he is, is doing the same.

Hopefully the entire picture comes across crystal clear in Thompson’s own words.

Initial impressions of the campus:
“I got here yesterday [Friday] afternoon. This is the most impressive campus I’ve been on by far. I’ve been to Clemson, Ohio State, I’ve been a lot of places.”

“Overall it was just really impressive. Yesterday when I go to the facility I was like, ‘why didn’t somebody tell me it would be like this?'”

What stood out to that point:
“The city of Austin is real nice. I was really impressed with Coach Herman. I had a meeting with him this morning — me and my dad — and we got to talk a lot and I’m actually about to go to the basketball game and visit with Coach Herman again.”

More on Herman:
“We just talk about family history. He visited with my dad and we talked about my family, with my brother Kendal and my dad Charles. He just kinda got to know me, it was kinda like an introduction. That’s actually my first time meeting Coach Herman in person.”

Familiarity with Tim Beck:
“I’ve known Coach Beck since last winter. He recruited me at Ohio State so, it was just like another time to be around Coach Beck. He didn’t have to ask me a lot of questions. I knew Coach Beck, I talk to him almost every day.”

Creating familiarity with players:
“I think Texas is a great fit. I got to be around Sam. I got to be around Shane Buechele. I got to be around all these guys this weekend…..I hung out with all of these guys last night and I’ll be here again tonight.”

His recruitment in a nutshell:
“Texas is a great program. They’re not, I don’t think either side, like I’m not ready to commit and they’re not ready [to take a commitment], but like I said, getting to know Coach Herman, I think they’re wanting to get to know me more. The guys that they’ve offered that are uncommitted are me and Dorian (Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Las Vegas Bishop Gorman), and I know Dorian and have much respect for him and I think we’re very similar so, you know, either way it goes they’re going to get a great quarterback. If they wait on me — I would like for them to wait on me, obviously — like I said Texas is still in the top-3 like they were entering this weekend.”

*Emphasis is his, he leaned in and his voice changed ever so slightly when he said it

His passion for football in a nutshell:
“I love football. I eat, breathe, and sleep football. I watch film every day. I’m going to start playing on Fast 7 on 7 out of Houston. So, some of the guys here, Jalen (Waddle), and some of those receivers here, I’ll get to meet a lot of the Texas receivers.”

Thompson wants to announce sometime during the Spring, and I believe that’s about the time Texas would prefer to land a quarterback. Obviously Thompson would be a fine leader in the class, like Buechele and Ehlinger before him, and his reach would extend well in to Texas despite being a native Oklahoman.

My feeling is the stars are aligning for this to end in UT’s favor but only time will tell