With a father that played at Oklahoma and an older brother who was a Sooner and is now playing at Utah, you knew expectations were going to be high for Moore (Okla.) Southmoore quarterback Casey Thompson.
He’d be under a microscope even as a freshman. He was, but he passed the test. A team that was certainly a year away from big things accelerated the process and made the state playoffs.
Now a sophomore, Thompson is stating his case as to why he should be the No. 1 prospect in the state for the Class of 2018.
“The game feels a lot slower and is slowing down for me,” Thompson said. “That comes from experience and preparation. Last year, it wasn’t tough for me. I knew what I was doing, but the game was moving faster.”
Indeed it was as Thompson had some great moments as a freshman but also had plays that were a gentle reminder he was only a freshman.
Sometimes you need to remind yourself he’s only a sophomore right now. It’s hard to do after three games where Thompson has lit up opponents en route to 15 total touchdowns and getting Southmoore off to a 3-0 start.
Thompson has 43 carries for 275 yards and four touchdowns, but it’s his improvement as a passer that has caught the eye of college coaches.
He completed just shy of 50 percent of his passes last year. So far, he’s completing a whopping 78 percent of his passes, going 41 of 52 for 788 yards with 11 touchdowns and two interceptions.
He’s smarter, too, no longer fighting for that extra yard when it’s not 100 percent necessary. Saving his body in the process.
“I never would have slid last year,” Thompson said. “As a runner and football player, your natural instinct is to fight for all those yards.”
The Thompson name means a lot in Oklahoma and to the Sooners. His father was former OU quarterback Charles Thompson. His older brother, Kendal Thompson, was also a Sooner before transferring to Utah following the 2013 season.
That was when Casey Thompson was an eighth-grader. He had no idea how Kendal’s departure would impact his potential future with OU. He said he figured he would either be recruited heavily or not at all.
Turns out it much more the former than the latter. Kendal always seemed to be just one break away from making the leap with the Sooners, but that break never happened.
Whenever he was close to making an imprint, an injury would occur and it was back to square one for the elder Thompson.
“There were no hard feelings at all,” Casey Thompson said. “My dad and Kendal met with Coach Bob Stoops, and Stoops wished him the best of luck. As far as I know, they broke off on good terms.”
Casey Thompson had been a fixture at OU’s summer camps, dating back to when he was in seventh grade. But it was still unclear how the relationship would evolve following Kendal leaving for the Utes.
That became a dead issue as soon as Lincoln Riley arrived in Norman in January. Thompson admitted he didn’t know much about OU’s new offensive coordinator, but it didn’t take him long to find out more and to know he liked what he was finding out.
“I went to the practices and scrimmages in the spring and got an idea for what he’s doing,” Thompson said. “I saw what he’s doing with this offense and with Baker Mayfield. It’s exciting.
“He makes quarterbacks look really good in his style. Besides being a good offensive coordinator, he’s really easy to talk with. You can talk to him about anything.”
Thompson is no slam dunk to be a Sooner although he has a quality relationship with Stoops. Thompson does already have offers from SMU and Oregon State, among others, but it’s clear the best is yet to come.
It’s a natural fit with offensive coordinator Jake Spavital’s many ties to the state and with first-year offensive line coach Dave Christensen coming to College Station after spending a year at Utah.
Thompson said he intends to visit A&M once again sometime next month but also added he is in zero rush to make a decision, saying he hasn’t even taken one look at his situation and the quarterback situation for any interested schools.
His first visit will be to Oregon this weekend, not in a recruiting role, though. Utah comes to Eugene, and he’ll be there to cheer on his brother.
“He has been waiting for a long time,” Thompson said. “I’m really proud of him. Now that he’s getting to play full games, he’s starting to get that rhythm. It’s great being able to watch him on Saturday nights.”
Recruiting pushed to the side, it’s all about his sophomore season – one that promises to be a fun ride and an interesting one for the SaberCats.
Thompson is not alone as there are a bevy of top recruits at Southmoore for this class, 2017 and 2018. It makes it fun, and it takes away some of the pressure.
“Nobody is going to take us lightly anymore,” Thompson said. “Last year we could sneak up on them. We haven’t done anything yet. We can’t get too relaxed.
“I know I’m not the only one on campus in this situation. It makes it fun.”
Unless you’re their opponents.