TAYLOR ESTES: Could Be A Big Day Thursday For #RevolUTion18
After months of thought and deliberation, 4-star dual-threat QB Casey Thompson of Southmoore (Okla.) is set to announce his college choice at during a ceremony in his school gym.
The son of former Oklahoma QB Charles Thompson and the younger brother of former OU and Utah QB Kendal Thompson, Casey released his Top 10
According to that list, Thompson's college choice will come from the following: Texas Longhorns, Miami (Fl) Hurricanes, Arizona State Sun Devils, Tennessee Volunteers, North Carolina Tar Heels, UCF Golden Knights, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Oregon Ducks, Oklahoma Sooners and Ohio State Buckeyes.
There have been several indications that Thompson's top two are Texas and North Carolina.
So where does Thompson stand on the eve of his commitment?
"I feel good," he told me . "I'm at peace (with my decision)."
After talking to multiple people with knowledge of his recruitment, sources close to Thompson, and those on the Texas side of things seem confident with where the Longhorns stand as of late evening.
Thompson has been high on Texas for several months, with his interest in the Longhorns only increasing after taking his first Texas unofficial visit in late February for Junior Day weekend.
During that weekend, Thompson seemed to bond with Texas sophomore QB Shane Buechele, who, like Thompson, has a bunch of OU family ties. Three of Buechele's four siblings went to Oklahoma. Like Buechele, Thompson doesn't seem afraid to step out on his own.
"I think Texas is a great fit," he said after UT's Junior Day on Feb. 25. "Overall, it was really impressive. When I got to the facilities, I wondered why someone didn't tell me it would be like this."
(More on UT's football facilities/new locker room in a minute. )
Thompson walked away from UT's Junior Day impressed with coach Tom Herman and his staff, and told me the Longhorns were among his top three favorites at that point.
The QB has since made two additional trips to Austin - the most recent visit came last weekend, right after Thompson publicly set the date to announce his verbal pledge.
Texas offensive coordinator Tim Beck's relationship with the Scout 300 prospect has only helped the Longhorns recruiting efforts with Thompson. Beck offered Thompson as a sophomore while coaching at Ohio State, and continued to recruit him after making the move to Texas earlier this year.
"As soon as I saw it on Twitter, I think I texted or called him, and he later reached out to me too," Thompson said of his reaction to Beck's hiring at Texas. "He has definitely made me a priority. I trust him."
Our friend Bob Przybylo from OU's Scout site - SoonersIllustrated.com - will be on-site at Southmoore High School, and will have live coverage from Thompson's commitment announcement.
As of evening, I think it's safe to say Texas fans may want to tune-in to Thompson's announcement afternoon.
Longhorns' Locker Room Plans
After months of coordinating and planning, Texas has officially started renovations inside the Longhorns' locker room.
Tom Herman and some UT seniors took sledgehammers to the walls of their locker room inside Moncrief-Neuhaus last Friday, kicking off a major facility upgrade Herman has wanted since he arrived in Austin.
With construction now underway, Herman expects this to be a fairly quick process. If everything goes according to schedule, the Longhorns' locker room would not only be ready in time for fall camp, but also would finish in time for Texas football's Night Lights recruiting camp in late July.
"We're hoping (it is ready) by the last week in July," Herman said. "I want it to be done for our Night Lights camp for recruiting."
Finishing the remodel before Night Lights would be huge for the Longhorns. Though it should never be a determining factor with recruits, having brand-new facilities to show off can and will make an impact. Herman understands the importance of maintaining a balance to preserve tradition while also keeping up with the times.
Herman said his plan is to renovate Moncrief in a way that would not only reflect the history of Texas football, but would also be appealing to 17-year old prospects.
Recruits in attendance at Junior Day were shown a rendering of how the remodeled facilities will look. Every recruit I spoke with had positive remarks when asked about the Longhorns' locker room upgrades.
I'd imagine having the locker room finalized by Night Lights would result in similar reactions from some of the top prospects who attend Herman's late-summer camp. And getting any recruiting momentum before the staff's first season in Austin can only help in the pursuit of elite 2018 prospects.
Satellite Camps Expanding Outside Of State Lines
Tom Herman is taking his show on the road this summer.
Texas Longhorns football will hit up the satellite camp circuit, with stops planned in several recruiting hotbeds from coast-to-coast.
The Longhorns will set up shop in areas near the Florida coast, Atlanta, Southern Louisiana and Las Vegas, with hopes the Las Vegas camp will also attract prospects from Phoenix and Los Angeles.
"We feel those areas - Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Louisiana, Atlanta and Florida - have some value to us," Herman said. "We're in the south, there's brand recognition there and kids like the University of Texas in those areas."
Out-of-state satellite camps have not been common for Texas football. Former head coach Charlie Strong held camps in Dallas and Houston last summer. But the Longhorns have yet to cross state lines.
That will change under Herman.
"It's just a way for us to get our brand out there to guys across the country," Herman said. "We're not going to have 10 (camps) on our campus, that just waters it down, but we're not going to waste them either."
Though Herman will participate in satellite camps outside Texas, it in no way means the staff's focus is shifting away from recruits inside the Lone Star State.
The head coach's philosophy is centered around signing the best players in the state of Texas first. And then if needed, venture outside state lines to find the best national talent from prospects with legitimate interest in the Longhorns.
"If we can sign an entire class of national championship caliber players that are from the state of Texas, we're going to do that," Herman said.
"We're not going to go out of the state unless it's an elite, elite national recruit that can come in and make a difference."
Texas will also host four mini-camps on the 40 Acres between late May and mid-June, in addition to a Night Lights camp in July.
HD CONTRIBUTOR ALLEN PERKINS: MORE WITH CASEY THOMPSON ON HIS BIG DECISION
Casey Thompson, 4-star 2018 dual-threat QB from Southmoore (Okla.) and son of former OU QB Charles Thompson, will announce his college commitment at 1:30 pm CT Thursday.
Thompson talked to HD about some of the thoughts that helped him reach his decision:
1. What were the biggest factors in making your decision?
My relationship with the coaches and the situation. Trust is important. I trust the coaches.
2. What are your emotions, now that you made this decision and it's done?
Very excited. At peace with the decision, a weight being lifted off my shoulders.
3. What's been the toughest part about making this decision?
It was a very hard decision, one of the hardest I've made in my life. Went back to things I look for, all things being equal, I’m always going to go with my heart.
4. What would you like to say to the fans of the school you selected?
I'm 100 percent committed. I’m the person who strives to be the best - day-in and day-out. They are getting a leader, someone who is different, a guy who brings a lot to the table as far as being a quarterback.
5. Have you been able to bond or build any relationships with any of the players on the roster or within your class – for guys who might go to the same school?
I definitely have a relationship with current players on the roster. Most places I've been to - I still talk to a lot of players from different schools. They tell me their thoughts and opinions. They want me to do what's best for me.
6. We’ve already talked about strengths and weaknesses before but What do you feel like you need to work on or improve?
My strength – accuracy, ball placement, judgment, when to use the fast ball, when to use touch, read defenses. I’m very smart. My speed and quickness, versatility - being comfortable in the pocket, throwing with a lot of things going on around me, making a good throw in difficult circumstances.
Weakness? Stepping into my throws when the rush is coming.
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