Thompson Making His Own Mark (Part 1)

In part one Sooners Illustrated talks with 2011 quarterback commitment Kendal Thompson, who could bring a different look to the Sooner offense. He will be staying close to home to carry on a tradition and play with the Sooners. It almost seems like a match that was destined to happen.

Quarterback is the most important position on the football field, so there is no wonder recruiting fans are always passionate about their favorite program to sign one of the best in the country every recruiting year.

And the Sooners usually do not disappoint.

After inking five-star quarterback Blake Bell in the Class of 2010 the OU coaching staff looked up the road at Southmoore High to Kendal Thompson, the son of former Sooner legend Charles Thompson, to fill the quarterback spot in the Class of 2011.

The last three quarterbacks to sign with the Oklahoma Sooners - Blake Bell, Drew Allen, Landry Jones - have all been 6'5 or better, but Thompson brings a change of pace with his 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame.

He is an accurate and technically sound passer who can beat you with his arm, but he is also a threat to pull down the ball and run. In the open field he is a dangerous weapon and makes defenders look foolish at times.

Even though he is a dual-threat type of athlete at quarterback, Thompson has received a lot of acknowledgement from prominent quarterback coaches across the country for his technical abilities and footwork.

After a strong performance at the regional Elite 11 camp at TCU he was invited back to compete in the Elite 11 Quarterback Camp event that is held annually in California and is known for hosting the very best quarterbacks in the country.

That's now two years in a row that Oklahoma has had a quarterback invited to the camp, as Bell represented the Crimson and Cream at the camp last year.

Thompson is aware of the talents of Bell but he is ready to get to Norman to form a relationship and compete against him for the starting quarterback job, much like he used to compete against him growing up on the baseball diamond.

"I played baseball against Blake growing up as he played for one of the better teams in Kansas and my team won state all throughout the years growing up," Thompson said seeming to allude the team from Oklahoma might have been handing it to Bell's team up in Kansas."

Thompson at the Elite 11 Regional camp at TCU.
It's just another coincidence being able to compete against him. I haven't actually talked to him since we both have been OU recruits but I'm sure once I get up there we will become good buddies."

"To me just the competition up there shows you the caliber of the school you are going to. You don't want to go somewhere you are promised the starting spot as a true freshman because you are obviously not going to a school with high caliber athletes. Just going there knowing I have to work every day is something I am looking forward to."

Thompson showed well in the Elite 11 and won the award for Best Leader by Example.

As a junior in 2009, Thompson helped lead the Sabercats to the State Semi-Finals while passing for 2,793 yards and 29 touchdowns and rushing for over 400 yards and 10 scores. For his performance he earned All-State honors.

Thompson was off to a quick start in 2010, but during the second game of the season he suffered a knee injury. Not to worry Sooner fans, Thompson verified that it isn't too serious and he should hopefully be back in two to three weeks.

"So far it's been moving pretty rapidly day by day as far as recovery. It's just a partially torn MCL, nothing big and no surgery. It's just a little tear in there which caused a lot of swelling and fluid," Thompson said.

"It's getting better I have been putting my full weight on it and extending it with my own power. It's just the stiffness and fluid that I am trying to get out of there. They said structure wise I should heal pretty well here in about two to three weeks depending on how my body responds."

Thompson, a left-handed thrower, is looking forward to the tutelage he will receive from OU quarterback coach Josh Heupel once he gets to college. Heupel played a huge role in Thompon's recruitment.

Heupel just happens to be the last left-handed quarterback to play in Norman and everyone remembers the success he had on the field.

And for those that don't… Heupel led the Sooners to the 2000 National Championship where they defeated the Florida State Seminoles 13-2 and the young Thompson was a big fan of the player Heupel used to be and the coach he is now.

"It's a great relationship," said the three-star quarterback. "Ever since I met Coach ‘Heup' (Heupel), you know I was a big fan. It was the year they won the National Championship I actually have a picture in my room we are in the locker room and he is holding the trophy and I got to take a picture with him as a pup."

"So it's just kind of a coincidence that he was able to come back to the program and recruited me. He's a lefty and stuff like that so we just have a good bond together and hopefully it will last over the years."

Stay with Sooners Illustrated as we will be featuring Part 2 of this in-depth feature with future Sooner quarterback Kendal Thompson…

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