Mobile, Ala.--Until very recently an Auburn baseball commitment, McGill-Toolen quarterback Bubba Thompson’s strong senior season for the Yellow Jackets garnered the attention of Tennessee and Ole Miss on the football side of the things and has him looking to play both sports in college.
On Wednesday night Thompson will have the opportunity to finish off his final high school football season in style with a state championship when McGill-Toolen faces Hoover in the Class 7A title game. Forced to watch last season’s game from the sidelines after an injury cost him a shot to be the starter for the Yellow Jackets, Thompson has come out firing this year and he’s ready to show what he can do on the biggest stage in Alabama high school football at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
“My coach always says just to treat it like another game, a regular game,” Thompson tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. “It is a state championship game and I’m going to cherish this moment. Once it kicks off it’s just another game for me.”
Guiding an offense that enters Wednesday’s game averaging 40.3 points per game, Thompson has been stellar throwing the football. While his speed and elusiveness makes him a dangerous runner, it has been his passing that has done the job this season. In 13 games he has thrown for 2,894 yards and 37 touchdowns with just five interceptions.
Coming from a baseball background and only starting one season following his injury a year ago, Thompson said he’s come a long way since the start of preseason practices.
“It has been crazy,” Thompson said. “I kind of struggled in the spring game because I was coming from baseball, but then it all started to click for me. I got a whole bunch of reps and the coaches put me in the best positions to make plays. I have got awesome receivers outside and a great offensive line.
“I think I’ve gotten 10 times better,” he added. “I know I’ve grown in the game since I’ve been playing. I’m comfortable throwing the ball anywhere now.”
A 6-2, 180-pounder, Thompson originally committed to Coach Butch Thompson and the baseball Tigers following a junior season when he batted .469 with 11 doubles, eight triples, 39 runs scored while adding 19 stolen bases.
Planning on a future in the sport, Thompson had always hoped to have the option to play both in college. Football offers from schools such as Central Florida, Troy and Western Kentucky didn’t sway him from his baseball pledge, but when Tennessee and Mississippi came along with the chance to do both that was enough to force him to step back and take another look.
“I have the opportunity to play both so why not try it and take it,” Thompson said. “Looking back in 20-25 years I could be saying ,‘what if I would have done that.’”
With a fondness for Auburn and already familiar with the campus and the baseball program, an Auburn offer in football could be huge for Thompson and Wednesday night he will get his chance to show Gus Malzahn and Rhett Lashlee what he can do.
While that would be a great feather in his cap on the recruiting front, Thompson said it’s not something he’s concerned with at the moment. All he’s focused on is getting a second state championship and finishing off a perfect season.
“I haven’t talked to them yet,” Thompson said. “That’s part of it (showcasing his talent), but I’m not really worried about that right now. I’m just trying to win for my teammates and my seniors and my coaches. I just want to win all of us a state championship. That’s the only thing I’m worried about right now.”
Thompson said he plans to take his visits in January before making a decision.
McGill-Toolen and Hoover face off at 7 p.m. CST on Wednesday in Jordan-Hare Stadium in the first of seven title games played over the course of three days as part of the Super 7.