Thursday, August 25, 2005

Thompson Era Begins at OU

A new era has begun in Sooner football as a new quarterback was announced Thursday evening. Junior Paul Thompson has been named the starting quarterback for the 2005 Sooners. “We decided as a staff that we are going to start Paul Thompson,” said OU head coach Bob Stoops. “We feel that he has earned it to this point. The way they have both competed and been supportive of each other and the team is a real positive in the eyes of the coaching staff.

Stoops also made comment on what this meant to freshman quarterback Rhett Bomar. “We do believe that Rhett has performed well enough and is close enough (to Thompson) that we intend to give him snaps early in games, as well as late in games.”

Thompson was Jason White’s backup in 2003, when he won the Heisman Trophy. Last season Thompson redshirted, along with Bomar, while Tommy Grady was the backup.

“I am just excited and ready to get on the field and make some plays,” said Thompson, who has completed 66 percent of his career passes (31-for-47) and tossed four TDs compared to two INTs. “It is good to be clear about where I am at, so that I can move forward and produce for this team,” said Thompson. “The competition is not going to stop here, though. It will continue through the season and it will make each of us better.”

Additional quotes from Coach Stoops and Thompson:

On when Bomar will get into the game:
“I am not going to be exact on that. I can’t be today. That will be determined by how both of them play. He deserves opportunities to continue to grow and work in the system. How that will work its way out is something we will have to wait and see. We expect that Rhett will continue to grow and improve and he has great ability to continue to compete for us.”

On what made them decide on Thompson:
“I felt overall that there may have been more consistency to some degree with Paul, but it was very close when you look at them overall in all of the scrimmages from spring to now. “

On whether the QB competition will continue:
“It is fair to say that. I tell you guys (the media) this all the time and you don’t think it is true, but is not unlike any other position. The person at the position needs to be productive and play winning football. If not, the other person deserves the opportunity.”

On how he feels to be the starter:
“I have been asked about it a lot. Hopefully after today that will stop and I can focus on football and making this team better.”

On the opportunity of having a full week to prepare for TCU:
“It is very good. You want to have someone in there getting the reps that is ready for the game. It should help everyone’s focus.”

On what Coach Long said was the deciding factor:
“He said it was little things and that they liked my leadership, which is not taking anything away from him (Rhett Bomar). They just felt like at this time I would be a better fit for this offense.”

On whether or not he believed he would win the starting Job:
“I wasn’t too sure. I knew that I had done everything I could to put myself in that position. I was real positive going into the meeting.”