Ex-Texas QB Casey Thompson makes fresh start in Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Even though Casey Thompson hasn’t officially been named Nebraska’s starting quarterback, all signs point to him taking a snap first through spring practices when the Cornhuskers open the season.

“I’m glad I’m on the other end of the seating and waiting for my turn,” he said.

Thompson has a clean slate after relocating from Texas, where he started 10 games last year, but was unlikely to find a job in 2022. He is now in an environment where the statewide passion for the program is deep, but after five consecutive losses, the hopes have dwindled. ,

He will play for Scott Frost as his third head coach and Mark Whipple as his fourth offensive coordinator, who was hired in December and is adding diffusion system elements to Frost’s pro-style game, which he used for the 2021 Heisman Trophy final. With Kenny Pickett. Pittsburgh.

Thompson said the system is aggressive, spanning the field vertically and horizontally and operating at high speed.

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

Thompson waited three seasons for his chance at Texas and then, after QB Sam Ehlinger left, he lost a lengthy contest last year against the Hudson Cards.

Thompson turned cards in the middle of an ugly Week 2 loss in Arkansas. He shared playing time with the cards in some games, played with a thumb injury on his right (throwing) hand, and his grip on the job was a week-to-week offer.

After a 5-7 season, which included Texas’ longest losing streak in 65 years, coach Steve Sarkeesian said he would resume the quarterback competition for 2022. Thompson decided to leave when five-star recruit Quinn Ivers announced that he would relocate from Ohio State to Texas and Sarkeesian signed high-ranking freshman owner Murphy.

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

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

Thompson’s first task was to establish his leadership. He didn’t rush things. He lay back and spent the first week or two observing Lincoln and ties off the field.

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

“We have enough talent and pieces to win the ball game and compete at a high level, so I decided to come here,” he said.

Thompson is also familiar with Nebraska through his father, Charles Thompson, who quarterbacked Oklahoma at the height of the schools’ rivalry. Charles Thompson led the OU to a 17–7 victory over top-ranked Nebraska at Lincoln in 1987. The next year the Sooners lost 7–3 to Norman, with Thompson breaking his leg late in the game.

Casey Thompson set the Oklahoma high school record for total offense and was a four-star recruit followed by Alabama, Oregon and OU, along with Texas and others. Casey’s older brother, Kendall, was OU quarterback from 2011-13 and ended his career in Utah.

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

Before settling in Nebraska, he called Martinez to find out what was going on in Lincoln.

“He had nothing but great things to say about the program, the team, and the state of Nebraska,” Thompson said. “He said it was time for him to move on and I understood it. He said there are ups and downs. But, honestly, I just came from the University of Texas and I grew up around the University of Oklahoma, so I I’m used to being around big time football events and that type of football and those types of fan bases.”

Still, Thompson said he was surprised by how big of a deal football is in the state. Because of that, he said, the pool of opportunities for name, image and likeness runs deep. A few weeks after his arrival he struck a deal with the athletic apparel company Soldier Sports.

“The community here is more intimate and everybody knows,” Thompson said. “Austin, Texas, is more sprawling. It’s a big city. Here in Nebraska, if I go to a restaurant or go to a local high school basketball game or go to the gym down the street to get some lift on the weekend Well, I’ll have to stop and take pictures and stuff like that.”

Thompson said he enjoys his celebrity and is mindful of maintaining a positive image.

“When I wake up and decide to leave my house and go to a restaurant or some public place, I have to make sure I’m presentable and see who I’m with and what I’m saying I am,” he said.

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