Texas Longhorns quarterback pledge Casey Thompson is currently committed to making a rare journey — from north of the Red River to south of it.
Not only that, the son of former Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Charles Thompson is doing so despite his family ties, which include an older brother, Kendal, who also played quarterback in Norman.
“It all came together,” Thompson said of his recruitment in an interview with the Austin American-Statesman.
Not only had Oklahoma already taken a quarterback in California product Cameron Rising, Thompson had ties to both head coach Tom Herman and offensive coordinator Tim Beck. Both coaches previously recruited Thompson at Houston and Oklahoma, respectively.
“I knew I was a priority for the coaching staff because I was wanted by the head coach and offensive coordinator at their previous schools.”
Remarkably enough, the recruitments of Rising and Thompson intersected again in April when Rising unexpectedly flipped from the Sooners to the Longhorns.
Speculation began immediately that Thompson might renew his interest in Oklahoma, but that hasn’t happened yet and the actions of the coaching staff under Bob Stoops makes that scenario even more unlikely.
Offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley no longer follows Thompson on Twitter and defensive backs coach Kerry Cooks sent the following message seemingly aimed at recruits and subtweeting the Texas coaches:
Young ones beware "real recognize real" lots of false prophets lurking pic.twitter.com/8iyy5rvHTE— Kerry Cooks (@CoachKerryCooks) May 9, 2017
Despite the apparent claim by Cook, Herman and Beck were honest with Thompson about recruiting other quarterbacks — that’s a big part of the reason why Thompson hasn’t decommitted or started looking around at other schools.
“Tom Herman and his staff were straight with me and did a great job making me and my family feel like a priority,” Thompson said.
Moreover, Thompson said that he “felt like family” every time he came to Austin. Whether or not that is a direct indictment of the Oklahoma coaching staff is up for debate, but the argument here is that the public responses by the Sooner coaches indicate that the staff has either moved on or decided to resort to negative recruiting tactics.
The former is good news for keeping prospects with OU offers in the Texas class, while the latter seems unlikely to benefit the Sooners.
For Thompson’s recruitment in particular, his head coach, Jeremy Stark, believes that his star player is ready for the battle with Rising and the other quarterbacks currently on campus with the Longhorns.
“We talked about the Rising commitment. He said he wasn’t worried about it,” said Stark. “There will be a kid highly recruited before and after you and he’ll need to compete no matter what grade a player is in.”
Until that competition starts following Thompson’s enrollment, the Southmoore product remains committed to becoming a Longhorn.