“A long, long time ago I had to make a similar decision to the one Luke just announced, before the world of social media,” Thompson told CF.C about opting to return for his senior season in 1978. “And it was a tough decision to be sure, but it’s one that I have never regretted because I did right by the Cougar Nation and I’m so glad that I did, that I came back for my senior season at Washington State."
In 1979, Thompson was the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, going to the Bengals.
“The fact that Luke came back -- and that Cody O'Connell also came back -- that’s such great news for Washington State both going into the 2017 season, and beyond.”
Thompson also made sure to point out that had Falk gone the different route, his support of the Heisman candidate would not have changed in the least.
“I’m ecstatic about Luke’s decision -- he is such a class act and he’s conducted himself in that manner from the moment he put on a Cougar uniform,” said Thompson. “The ability to retain him for his senior year is such a great thing for Cougar Nation. But had he chosen to leave early for the NFL, I also would have been in full support of that because he’s earned that respect from myself and from all Cougs. And now that he’s coming back, I can’t wait to see what Falk and Co. are going to do in 2017. Go Cougs!”
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NOTABLE NOTE: Three Cougar QB's have departed early for the NFL draft.
- Timm Rosenbach, the No. 2 pick in the 1989 supplemental draft, saw spot duty as a rookie with the Cardinals, turned in solid work as a full-time starter in Year Two and then had his career undone by injury.
- Drew Bledsoe, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1993 draft, retired after 14 NFL seasons and reached No. 7 on the all-time passing yards list. He was named to four Pro Bowls and led the Patriots to the 1997 Super Bowl.
- Ryan Leaf, the No. 2 overall pick in the 1998 draft, stumbled badly in San Diego and then walked away from the game with a bum wrist after just four seasons. He said in his book, 596 Switch, that leaving WSU early was a horrible mistake due to his immaturity.