Is it really possible to be talking about a Class of 2018 prospect as a “too late” offer in May 2016? Sounds rather unreasonable, doesn’t it?
But when you’re talking Oklahoma and talking Moore (Okla.) Southmoore four-star quarterback Casey Thompson, it’s a realistic scenario.
Thompson accumulated more than 3,700 yards of total offense last year with 52 total touchdowns (32 passing, 20 rushing) as a sophomore.
Him and his family have developed a tremendous relationship with OU offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley in less than two years. Add in the fact his father, Charles Thompson, is obviously synonymous with the Sooners. His brother, Kendal, was a one-time OU quarterback before transferring to Utah following the end of the 2013 season.
All the pieces were there yet the puzzle never materialized until last week when, during a near 45-minute phone call Wednesday evening, Thompson was offered by Riley.
“I called around 8 (p.m.) and we talked,” Thompson said. “Not too long after the start of the call, he said he was going to offer me and would like for me to be the quarterback for those next four years.”
Those who have followed Thompson’s recruitment and his relationship with Riley had a good feeling the offer would come sometime soon with most expecting the spring evaluation period being the spot it would happen.
The only thing that raises eyebrows is the fact OU wasn’t his only major offer of the week. Ohio State, who Thompson had visited last month, beat the Sooners to the punch by 24 hours when it offered Tuesday evening.
“Coach Beck (Tim Beck) came out here Tuesday,” Thompson said. “Me and him are really tight. I’m really tight with Coach (Urban) Meyer, too. They said I’m one of the top quarterbacks for the 2017, 2018 classes.”
Thompson had an outstanding visit to Columbus, saying it was one of the best run programs he has seen when it comes to attention to detail notwithstanding the talent the Buckeyes have as well.
So on the surface, it appeared like OU was simply reacting to what a recruiting rival did 24 hours before the Sooners. Coincidentally, OU and Ohio State are getting all too familiar with each other on the trail with the Buckeyes ranked No. 1 for the 2017 class and OU’s SoonerSquad17 at No. 2.
Offended would be the wrong word to describe Thompson regarding OU’s offer, but it was still interesting timing.
“It felt like me and Coach Riley were getting close to an offer, just didn’t know when it would come or that it would come that soon,” Thompson said. “I don’t feel offended. I do sit back and scratch my head and wonder what’s the hold up, what’s the wait?”
When a recruit has those questions, they’re not always so bold as to ask them. But the word Thompson uses to describe his relationship with Riley is honest. Not holding anything back, Thompson asked the tough question.
“He said he wanted to make sure it’s the right call and right timing,” Thompson said. “He wanted to re-evaluate things. He came during practice (Wednesday) and talked to my coaches and told me to call him so I did later that night.”
In recent years, OU has tried its best to make certain offers as special as possible. When it’s an in-state recruit, the Sooners have attempted to make sure it’s in person. When it’s an out of region recruit, always try to throw something in there unique to let the kid know he’s wanted.
Thompson has accumulated plenty of offers. Power 5 conferences across the board, getting up to nearly 20 at this point. But he admits the offer from OU takes some of the pressure off, and he admits it was a different feel of an offer.
“It’s like Coach Riley said how this is not a typical phone call offer,” Thompson said. “We talked about a lot of things and have a real honest relationship.
“Sometimes we ask each other the hard questions. He’s real cool. He’s laid back like I am. We started talking as soon as he got to OU.”
Thompson isn’t keeping track of offers anymore. He appreciates them all, but he knows he can only enjoy it for a short period of time, and then it’s back to work.
His tentative plan is to visit Clemson and Oregon in the summer, but he’s nowhere near finalizing that just yet. He visited Arizona State, Miami and Ohio State in the last couple of months and is always a frequent visitor in Norman.
The focus right now is high school. After an outstanding 9-1 regular season in 2015 that saw the SaberCats put up points like crazy, Southmoore was upset at home in the first round of the playoffs. The team has used it for motivation and knows it’s also time to move on.
“It’s the mental side of the game,” said Thompson about his biggest improvements as a player. “I’m getting the ball out quicker. My arm is stronger, and I’m making quick decisions now. I’m trying to control the game with my mind and my arm.”
Thompson’s development has been intriguing to watch in person, and you know Riley will do just that. Not only is Southmoore less than 15 minutes away from OU, but the Sooners also have the commitment of 2018 four-star offensive tackle Brey Walker, also from Southmoore.