“Why didn’t somebody tell me it would be like this?”
Moore (Okla.) Southmoore quarterback Casey Thompson experienced something perhaps related to shock when he saw the Texas Longhorns football facilities on his first trip to Austin from Friday to Sunday, he told Inside Texas.
“I got here yesterday [Friday] afternoon,” he said. “This is the most impressive campus I’ve been on by far. I’ve been to Clemson, Ohio State, I’ve been a lot of places.”
Suffice it to say that the visit made an impression on Thompson, the top quarterback target for the Longhorns in the 2018 class and a Sooners legacy — his father, Charles, played quarterback for Oklahoma, as did his older brother Kendal.
And that impression comes before head coach Tom Herman finishes the multi-million dollar renovation of the aging Texas facilities, which the new coach considered in dire need of a facelift upon his arrival.
So count Thompson’s awe as extremely positive in that regard.
Of course, the visit was about more than seeing the facilities — it was about the Thompsons building a relationship with Herman, whom Casey had never met before.
Offensive coordinator Tim Beck, on the other hand, is in frequent contact with the talented dual-threat passer, speaking with him “almost every day,” and hosted Thompson on an unofficial visit at Ohio State last spring.
As a result, the time spent with Herman was important for the family and included a Saturday morning meeting and more face time at the Texas-Kansas basketball game.
Like early enrollee Sam Ehlinger back in December, Thompson came away from that first meeting with an appreciation for Herman’s charisma.
Now Thompson will head back to Oklahoma and resume preparation for spring football, which will include a critical in-person evaluation by members of the Texas staff — Herman and Beck want to see the nation’s No. 5 dual-threat quarterback throw at practice before accepting a commitment.
Likewise, Thompson still wants to continue his due diligence with the other schools in his top group — Miami and North Carolina.
“Texas is a great program,” Thompson said. “They’re not, I don’t think either side, like I’m not ready to commit and they’re not ready [to take a commitment], but like I said, getting to know Coach Herman, I think they’re wanting to get to know me more.”
Thompson went on to point out that the only other uncommitted quarterback offered by the Longhorns is Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
Since Thompson-Robinson just received his offer from Texas last week, he’s much more on the fringes of the Longhorns recruiting radar until he visits. Still, Thompson understands that there’s competition for that spot.
“If they wait on me — I would like for them to wait on me, obviously — like I said Texas is still in the top three like they were entering this weekend.”
On the list of things that need to happen for Thompson to commit to the ‘Horns in April or May, the visit to Austin and related relationship building with Herman is now checked off. Next up, the in-person evaluation this spring.
The final hurdle? Herman and Beck effectively convincing Thompson and his family that Texas provides a better opportunity for him than Miami or North Carolina.
Make no mistake, Thompson is the top target here and with his 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions trending further to the ‘Horns after his three-day trip to Austin, the growing expectation that he will follow in the footsteps of Darrell K Royal and cross the Red River to Texas is only strengthened.