Former Texas QB Casey Thompson gets fresh start in Nebraska

Even though Casey Thompson hasn’t been officially named Nebraska’s starting quarterback, all indications from spring training point to him taking the first shots when the Cornhuskers open the season.

“I’m happy to be sitting halfway around the world and waiting my turn,” he said.

Thompson has wiped the slate clean after being transferred from Texas, where he started 10 games last year, but was unlikely to get the job in 2022. He is now in an environment where the passion of all the Condition for the program is deep, but expectations are tempered after five consecutive losing seasons. .

He will play for his third head coach in Scott Frost and fourth offensive coordinator in Mark Whipple, who was hired in December and adds elements of the pro-style game he used with the trophy runner-up to Frost’s spread system. Heisman 2021 Kenny Pickett in Pittsburgh.

Thompson said the system is aggressive, stretches the pitch vertically and horizontally, and works at a fast pace.

“There are a lot of options, so I really like that,” he said. “It was fun so far and it was easy to understand.”

Thompson waited three seasons for his chance in Texas, then, after entrenched QB Sam Ehlinger left, he lost a long competition to Hudson Card last year.

Thompson replaced Card amid an ugly Week 2 loss at Arkansas. He shared playing time with Card in some games, played with a thumb injury in his right hand (throwing), and his stranglehold on the job was a week-to-week proposition.

After a 5-7 season that included a six-game losing streak, Texas’ longest in 65 years, coach Steve Sarkisian said he would open quarterback competition for 2022. Thompson decided to leave when the rookie five-star Quinn Ewers announced that he would. transfer to Texas from Ohio State and Sarkisian signed highly rated freshman Maalik Murphy.

Adrian Martinez’s transfer to Kansas State created a job opening in Nebraska, and Thompson chose the Huskers after also considering Auburn and Oklahoma.

“I really like it here,” Thompson said. “I appreciate the fan base. I appreciate the team. I appreciate that everyone here loves football. There are good people in Nebraska and here in Lincoln.”

Thompson’s first task was to establish his leadership. He didn’t rush things. He laid back and observed the first week or two he was at Lincoln and formed relationships off the field.

Thompson said he took the offensive lineman to dinner and got together with the receivers to throw passes and watch the movie. Omar Manning, Oliver Martin, Alante Brown and LSU transfer Trey Palmer impressed him.

“We have enough talent and pieces in place to win ball games and compete at a high level, that’s why I decided to come here,” he said.

Thompson also knows Nebraska through his father, Charles Thompson, who served as Oklahoma’s quarterback during the height of the school rivalry. Charles Thompson led OU to a 17-7 victory over a top-ranked Nebraska at Lincoln in 1987. The Sooners lost 7-3 the following year at Norman, with Thompson breaking his leg late in the game.

Casey Thompson set an Oklahoma high school total offense record and was a four-star recruit chased by Alabama, Oregon and OU along with Texas and others. Casey’s older brother, Kendal, was an OU quarterback from 2011 to 2013 and finished his career at Utah.

Casey said Texas felt good, but that changed as he found himself repeating the cycle of one step forward, one step back.

Before moving to Nebraska, he called Martinez to find out what he was walking into at Lincoln.

“He had nothing but good things to say about the program, the team and the state of Nebraska,” Thompson said. “He said it was just time for him to move on and I understood that. He said there were ups and downs. But, honestly, I come from the University of Texas and I grew up around the University of Oklahoma, so I’m kind of used to big football programs and that kind of football and that kind of fan base.”

Still, Thompson said he was surprised at the importance of football in the state. Because of this, he said, the pool of name, image and likeness opportunities is deep. He landed a deal with sportswear company Soldier Sports within weeks of joining.

“The community here is more tight-knit and everyone is kind of in the know,” Thompson said. “Austin, Texas is more spread out. It’s a big city. Here in Nebraska, if I go to a restaurant or a local high school basketball game or the gym down the street for weekend lifts, I’m going to end up getting arrested and having to taking pictures and stuff like that.”

Thompson said he loved his fame and was mindful of maintaining a positive image.

“When I wake up and decide to leave my house and go to a restaurant or any public place, I kind of have to make sure I look presentable and look with who I am and what I’m with. say,” he said. mentioned.

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