Nebraska 'too good to turn down' for QB transfer Casey Thompson
When Casey Thompson was considering transferring from Texas, he had a list of schools that would be possible options. Nebraska was on that list.
After Husker starting quarterback Adrian Martinez entered the transfer portal, and would eventually commit to Kansas State, Thompson said he decided to take a risk and put his name in the portal.
Thompson said in a one-on-one live interview with HuskerOnline that he has talked with Nebraska's coaching staff every day since entering the portal on Dec. 16.
After doing a lot of research on the Husker's offense, its new offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, the current players and even talking to former players, Thompson committed to Nebraska on Jan. 7.
"That's a situation that fell in my lap, and it was almost too good to turn down," the former four-star quarterback said. "Sometimes you don't know where life will take you and I'm just blessed and fortunate to be in (this) position."
While he was in the portal, Thompson talked to other quarterbacks who were also in the portal, including Spencer Rattler, Caleb Williams, Dillon Gabriel and even Martinez.
In fact, Thompson, who has two years of eligibility, said he called Martinez "as soon as he went into the portal."
"Adrian said it's a good school with a pretty good fan base," Thompson said. "He said it was just time for him to move on and he needed a fresh start. And then he said, that's all it was for him but he had nothing bad to say about Nebraska."
Thompson will be in a master's program at Nebraska and also talked to Martinez about his courses in the College of Business while he was earning his Master of Business Administration (MBA).
After arriving at UNL on Monday, Thompson said he has been meeting with academy advisors to set up his schedule and to officially decide on an MBA or a master of science.
The Oklahoma City native also talked to Tim Beck, who coached at Nebraska from 2008 to 2014 and was Thompson's quarterback coach at Texas from 2017 to 2019. Thompson said he and Beck talked for "hours on the phone" about Nebraska. Once Thompson committed, Beck called him with a list of places to eat and people to get acquainted with.
As for the Huskers offense and NU's coaching staff, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound quarterback liked what he saw from Whipple's passing game film and Frost's run game when it comes to quarterback.
Thompson watched film of Husker head coach Scott Frost's offense and offensive coordinator Mark Whipple's offense at Pitt before he left the Panthers for Nebraska during the off-season.
At Pitt, Whipple also coached Kenny Pickett, a 2021 Heisman candidate. Pitt had one of the top offenses in the country with Pickett and Biletnikoff award winner Jordan Addison at the forefront.
"For me, I was very interested because they threw the ball up to 55 to 60 times in one game and the least amount of pass attempts that they had was 28," Thompson said of Pitt's 2021 offense. "So 28 to 60 passes for a quarterback, obviously, that's amazing."
While in the portal, Thompson took a look into Nebraska's offensive line and receiver weapons. He listed Omar Manning and Zavier Betts as the two wide receivers that stood out to him the most. He also named LSU transfer Trey Palmer and freshman Decoldest Crawford.
Thompson assured Husker fans during the live interview that he has experience running the option and added that it was the only way he played quarterback until he was about 12 years old. His dad, Charles Thompson, was a quarterback at Oklahoma from 1986 to 1988 and taught his son how to run the option and wishbone at a young age.
Playing quarterback comes with a crucial leadership role and Thompson, who will wear No. 11 at Nebraska, said he possesses the qualities to handle that role.
"'I'm able to bring work ethic, accountability and maturity," Thompson said. "And as a football player and a quarterback, someone who possesses the leadership capabilities of being able to relate to the guys in the locker room and on staff and being able to push people and hold people accountable while also being coachable."
Thompson, who is one of Nebraska's two quarterback transfers along with Chubba Purdy, said he is excited for the competition ahead of him in spring ball which starts on Feb. 28.
He hopes to be fully healthy by then, as he injured his thumb playing at Texas last season. Thompson said he has not thrown a competitive ball since his last game as a Longhorn against Kansas State.
He and Nebraska's coaching staff want Thompson to be evaluated by NU's doctors and physical therapists before he gets the green light. Thompson said these eight weeks have been the longest he has gone without throwing a football since he started playing the game at four years old.
Thompson chose Nebraska over Oklahoma, his dad and brother Kendal's alma mater. While his family has a lot of history at OU and a relationship with former coach Barry Switzer, he felt like he had a better opportunity at Nebraska.
"I thought I had a better chance of going into a situation that was advantageous and favorable to me," he said. "You have to compete everywhere. If I were to say to Texas, I would have to compete with three or four guys."
"The guys that are here, behind Adrian, they've never really started to play competitive football, and then Chubba coming in, he also hasn't started playing as much as well," Thompson continued. "So I would definitely have that on him as far as experience goes. I'm excited to compete."