After entering the NCAA transfer portal for a third time in late April, former Nebraska Cornhuskers and Texas Longhorns quarterback Casey Thompson committed to the Florida Atlantic Owls on Wednesday to play for former head coach Tom Herman.
Former Nebraska and Texas quarterback Casey Thompson tells ESPN that he’s committed to play at FAU for his sixth and final season of eligibility. He’d visited Auburn and received interest from Notre Dame, Indiana, Houston and Texas State. He also considered staying at Nebraska. pic.twitter.com/35zNY1cze2— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) May 10, 2023
In pledging to the Owls, Thompson will reunite with the head coach who recruited him out of Oklahoma as a member of the 2018 recruiting class. Thompson eventually entered the portal for the first time after redshirting during the 2018 season, but opted to return to Texas when two other quarterbacks transferred — backup quarterback Shane Buechele and fellow 2018 signee Cameron Rising.
Thompson served as Sam Ehlinger’s backup in 2019 and 2020 before receiving his first significant playing time when Ehlinger was injured in the first half of the Alamo Bowl win over Colorado in 2020, completing 8-of-10 passes for 170 yards and four touchdowns in addition to a 22-yard run.
Four days later, Herman was fired and replaced by Steve Sarkisian, who oversaw the subsequent quarterback competition between Thompson and Hudson Card, the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the 2020 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Sarkisian named Card the starter heading into game week against Louisiana, but Thompson took over the role after Card had a disastrous performance in the blowout loss to Arkansas in Fayetteville the following week. Thompson played well in easy victories over Rice and Texas Tech before his production dipped against TCU. In the midst of a 388-yard, five-touchdown performance in a true shootout against Oklahoma, Thompson suffered a thumb injury that at times seriously limited him. In the overtime loss to Kansas, Thompson was able to throw for 358 yards and six touchdowns while scoring once more on the ground, but in games against Iowa State and West Virginia, he was only able to complete a combined 6-of-20 passes as the injury became aggravated.
Even though Thompson had to play more than six games with the thumb injury, he still led the Big 12 in passing touchdowns with 24 and completed 63.2 percent of his passes.
After Sarkisian brought in Quinn Ewers as a transfer from Ohio State that December, Thompson entered the portal for the second time, landing at Nebraska, where he started 10 games last season, completing 173-of-274 passes for 2,407 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions while being sacked 16 times. Multiple injuries slowed Thompson, including a torn labrum, ulnar nerve damage, and an elbow contusion.
The torn labrum required offseason shoulder surgery that limited Thompson during spring practice under new head coach Matt Rhule and eventually precipitated his third entrance into the portal.
With Thompson choosing Florida Atlantic over Auburn and interest from Houston, Indiana, Notre Dame, and Texas State, he’ll compete with Central Michigan transfer Daniel Richardson, Penn State transfer Michael Johnson Jr., and junior college transfer Tyriq Starks as he prepares to enter his sixth and final season of college football.