Is the remarkable 2018-19 Texas Longhorns quarterback drama now resolved after one confirmed departure, another looming departure, and weeks in the NCAA transfer portal for another player?
Indeed it is — on Friday evening, Anwar Richardson of Orangebloods reported that freshman quarterback Casey Thompson will return to the Forty Acres this spring:
Casey Thompson informed Texas on Friday night he intends to return to Texas after entering his name in the transfer portal prior to the Sugar Bowl. Sam Ehlinger will be the No.1 QB on the depth chart this offseason, followed by Thompson and incoming freshman Roschon Johnson— Anwar Richardson (@AnwarRichardson) January 19, 2019
On Saturday afternoon, a school spokesman confirmed the news to Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman, shortly before Thompson sent the following tweet:
Confirmed. ✔️— Casey Thompson (@LilThurm) January 19, 2019
A 6’1, 190-pounder who is the son of former Oklahoma quarterback Charles Thompson, the remaining member of the 2018 quarterback recruiting class for Texas denied a similar report about his decision to stay in Austin on Thursday.
With fellow redshirting freshman Cameron Rising already departed for Utah and redshirting junior Shane Buechele also an entrant into the transfer portal with the intent to become a graduate transfer, there were legitimate concerns about massive casualties in a position room that had suddenly become crowded.
Instead, the news of Thompson’s return represents what was always the most likely scenario — that at least one of the two freshman would remain in the program, especially in the case of Buechele leaving.
Basically, there wasn’t a ton of incentive for Thompson to leave with the prospect that he would rise from No. 4 to No. 2 on the Longhorns depth chart when the other possibility was transferring, sitting out a year, and then competing for a job.
After a rare year with four scholarship quarterbacks, head coach Tom Herman and his staff won’t be thrilled about entering the 2019 season with three scholarship quarterbacks, but there were never really overwhelming odds that it would be worse than that.
And it will not be worse than that. So go ahead and take a deep breath.