Sooner Intel: 2018 QB race reaches boiling point

Intel returns with take your pick: Casey Thompson or Cameron Rising?

It’s just the way things goes in recruiting, especially at quarterback when you’re talking about trying to find that guy to be the face of the class.

Guess you could blame it on Mesquite (Texas) Horn quarterback Chris Robison. When he committed June 27, 2015, for the 2017 class, he set the standard for how quarterback recruiting would proceed from now on at Oklahoma.

Offers were going to be made in the spring, but not after their junior season. Instead, it would be after the sophomore season, and that’s exactly what Lincoln Riley has done for the 2018 class.

Two candidates. Who’s it going to be?

Moore (Okla.) Southmoore QB Casey Thompson

The local kid coming back home. There are a lot of reasons on both sides of the equation as to why this would be a good or bad decision.

The good? Thompson has an incredibly honest relationship with Riley. The two have not been afraid to ask each other the tough questions, sometimes the uncomfortable questions.

Most believed Thompson should have been the first offer from Riley for the 2018 class, but he wasn’t. He was among the first five, but there could be a case of personal pride.

Thompson is an electric talent who has torn it up on the field during his first two seasons at Southmoore. His teammate, five-star offensive tackle Brey Walker, is already committed to the Sooners for the 2018 class.

He doesn’t have great size, but he knows what to do with it. He can make plays with his feet and his arm and seems to have that “it” factor when it comes to leadership.

He’s a Thompson, and they’re supposed to head to Norman like his father, Charles, and his older brother, Kendal (before transferring to Utah).

But lately the hometown quarterback staying with the Sooners hasn’t worked. Kendal Thompson never made a dent in the state, and 2014 quarterback Justice Hansen was gone after his redshirt freshman year. He’s now at Arkansas State.

It’s tough to describe the mental toll it takes to be the local kid that stays home. OU hasn’t hit a home run with the hometown boy since Sam Bradford.

Newbury Park (Calif.) High QB Cameron Rising

It was clear back when OU made this offer, it mattered. It was going to matter. But as a west coast kid with a brother playing at Arizona State, it just felt like the two sides would gradually drift apart.

Only they didn’t. And in fact, they were brought even closer when Rising visited the campus more than two weeks ago.

Rising had a stellar sophomore season, throwing just one interception. Rising said he’s now 6-foot-2 and 202 pounds. If true, that would put him on a nice curve going forward.

Rising didn’t get to spend time with Bob Stoops as Stoops was going through the ESPN car wash, but Rising spent enough time with Lincoln Riley, Caleb Kelly and Baker Mayfield to feel like he understood what being a Cali kid to be the Sooner quarterback is all about.

The first part has been uneven. Obviously OU has hit the area incredibly hard ever since the original Cali Trio of Brennan Clay, Kenny Stills and Tony Jefferson.

But OU hasn’t exactly hit as much in that department. For every Dru Samia, there has been a Derrick Woods, K.J. Young, Taylor McNamara, L.J. Moore. Well, you get the picture.

And he wouldn’t just be moving halfway across the country to play for the Sooners. He would be doing so to play quarterback at one of the most prestigious programs in the nation.

Rising seems to embrace the challenge, which is obviously what you need to hear from your quarterback. But what might occur if things go south?

Two options. Is there a wrong answer? Is there a right answer? Or is there just simply the answer that should come sooner rather than later?

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