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What QB commit Casey Thompson means to Texas

The Longhorns have a leader in the 2018 class and recruiting momentum heading into the Orange-White game.

Casey Thompson at Texas

The Tom Herman era with the Texas Longhorns now has its first quarterback commit with the Thursday pledge of Moore (Okla.) Southmoore prospect Casey Thompson, an Oklahoma Sooners legacy whose father and older brother both wore the crimson and cream.

Spurned by Bob Stoops and company in favor of Californian Cameron Rising, Thompson turned his attention south of the Red River.

“Coach (Tom) Herman and I talk every other day,” Thompson told 247Sports. “We have a really good relationship. I talk to Coach (Tim) Beck almost every day. They’ve done a good job recruiting me. I’ve been down there a few times recently, and I really like it.”

Oklahoma legacy becomes first QB commit for Tom Herman

Casey Thompson was born a Sooner. Now he's crossing the Red River because he knows that the Golden Hat belongs in Austin. #OUstillsucks

Nai-post ni Burnt Orange Nation noong Huwebes, Abril 13, 2017

Buoyed by those recruiting efforts of offensive coordinator Tim Beck at his previous stop in Columbus, Texas opted to take a commitment from the nation’s consensus No. 7 dual-threat quarterback.

The unlikely storyline of Thompson picking Texas adds another accomplishment to the impressive quarterback recruiting resumes of Herman and Beck, who could become one of the most effective duos in the country at landing top-flight passers.

With a limited amount of in-state talent available — the current staff hasn’t offered a single quarterback from Texas in this cycle and neither did the previous staff — finding a leader for the class was always a difficult proposition.

And though Thompson knows and plays with a number of recruits from the Lone Star State, the idea of pulling an Oklahoma legacy out of Oklahoma at the sport’s most important position seemed improbable, at best, several months ago.

A trip to North Carolina seemingly pushed momentum in favor of the Tar Heels as the Longhorns staff made choices about priorities at the position, ultimately deciding in favor of taking the 6’1, 184-pounder.

Now the third commitment in the class, the move makes a tremendous amount of sense since Thompson does have prior relationships with Texas prospects and can serve as a leader in the class — most coaches prioritize landing quarterbacks as soon as possible.

With so many recruits in wait-and-see mode with the Longhorns for a second straight season, there’s not much that Herman and his staff can through the spring and summer to build a big, early class.

It’s going to take time, but landing Thompson is a significant move in the direction of creating some buzz and giving the offensive skill position players a better understanding of their potential classmate if they commit to Texas.

For key targets like wide receivers Brennan Eagles and Al’vonte Woodard, the presence of Thompson could help provide the extra little bit of juice position coach Drew Mehringer needs to close with them.

Perhaps not, but now that possibility is within the realm of reason.

A consensus four-star prospect, Thompson ranks as the No. 157 prospect nationally, the No. 7 dual-threat quarterback, and the No. 4 player in Oklahoma, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Despite appearing at a Nike regional camp, there aren’t any speed times for Thompson, just a 30.3-inch vertical leap.

However, Thompson did prove his running ability in high school, having rushed for more than 2,000 yards and 39 touchdowns on 6.0 yards per carry over his three varsity seasons, according to MaxPreps.

On his Hudl page, he lists a 40-yard dash time of 4.55 seconds and a 4.18 shuttle time.

On film, Thompson certainly flashes at times with his agility and smooth speed.

As a passer during his junior season, Thompson took advantage of talented receivers who signed with Kansas State and Eastern Michigan, respectively, mostly on play-action passes. So the big-play ability and downfield accuracy are both there for the Southmoore product.

In fact, he’s averaging 14.8 yards per attempt during his high school career, so he’s always taken advantage of his opportunities, getting vertical with big-time results. In that respect, talented pass catchers have certainly helped him, but he’s done his job by putting the football in positions where they can make plays.

Thompson’s sophomore film provides better evidence of his overall ability — moving in the pocket, stepping into throws over the middle with velocity, putting the right weight on touch throws, showing good footwork for quick releases, and delivering the ball on the run.

With the Oklahoma native now in the fold, Texas has a recruit who is more than an interesting storyline and more than a leader in the class — Thompson is now the third straight high-floor take quarterback. Like Shane Buechele and Sam Ehlinger, Thompson doesn’t have ideal height, but all the other attributes are there for success.

Predicting the future at quarterback is always difficult, especially given the recent history in the Texas program since the departure of Colt McCoy. However, with any amount of luck, the Longhorns should be better positioned there over the next several years than any team has been since McCoy.