Thursday, August 03, 2006

Thompson Named Starter

The Oklahoma Sooners are turning to senior Paul Thompson to lead their 2006 campaign. Apparently there will be no competition as Thompson will return to the position he held going into last season before being replaced by Rhett Bomar.

Here are the reasons why I think Thompson is the right choice.

Leadership – According to sources the team rallied almost immediately behind Thompson yesterday when it was released that Rhett Bomar was being dismissed. Thompson is respected among the players on the team as the team leader and as a senior in the program can command attention in the huddle as well as demand perfection on the field. His on field and off field leadership will be unquestioned.

Experience – Practice starts today and Thompson is the only quarterback with Division I game experience. He is not likely to melt under the pressure of playing in front of 85,000 fans. As a redshirt senior this will be his fifth season.

Talent – Paul got off to a horrible start last season, so what reason is there to expect that it won’t be any different this season? First and foremost Paul was running Chuck Long’s offense last season and not Kevin Wilson’s.

What’s the difference? Long’s offense was developed for a drop back passer which Thompson is not. Wilson’s offense will be a spread formation with the quarterback being a run/pass threat. That is what Thompson is! He will have a more experienced offensive line in front of him than what he started with last season and Adrian Peterson will not be lined up directly behind him 100% of the time either.

This will be a totally different offense that what we saw last season with more read/options, roll outs and quarterback draws. This offense will be better suited to Thompson who is one of the fastest guys on the team. He will be a weapon himself who has a stock of talented receivers and the best running back in the country in his arsenal.

What does this mean for the Sooners and the Big 12?

I think it’s obvious that Oklahoma no longer has an edge over the Texas Longhorns in the south any more but on the other hand I don’t think Texas has an advantage over OU either, my boys over at BON will disagree.

Thompson may be inexperienced but he still has a ton more than any quarterback on campus in Austin. He has been on the field in the Cotton Bowl and other bowl games and he knows what it is like to take a hit on this level. No Texas quarterback can say that or even pretend to know what the game speed is going to be like either.

I’ll take Adrian Peterson over any running back in the country and so would most Longhorn fans, even though they won’t admit it. You have to give an offensive line advantage to the Longhorns and receivers to Oklahoma.

Both defenses will be nasty and, barring injury, when these two teams play each other on October 7th will be a wash. So as per usual the Big 12 will come down to the Red River Shootout because I still don’t think it matters at this point who the north sends to Kansas City.

Paul Thompson Bio
2005 - Started the first game at quarterback then moved to receiver ... remained the backup at quarterback.

2004 - Redshirted.

2003 - Effective in a backup role to Jason White ... had a 50-yard rush against Fresno State ... was the second longest of the season by an OU player ... had a 29-yard TD run against Texas A&M, one of two touchdown rushes he had in that game ... tossed a 55-yard pass to Donta Hickson against Texas.

2002 - OU’s backup quarterback who came out of his redshirt in the Texas-El Paso game ... threw a touchdown pass in that game to fellow true freshman Travis Wilson ... also had a TD pass to Brandon Jones in the Texas Tech game ... shared the Iron Man Award for top strength and conditioning by a freshman with Rufus Alexander.

High School - No. 10 athlete in the nation by ... district MVP ... top 100 players in Texas by Dallas Morning News and SuperPrep ... started three years at QB, one at DB ... had 1,600 passing yards and 1,053 rushing yards as a senior and was team MVP ... completed 113-of-182 passes ... recorded 12 touchdowns in the air and 14 rushing ... 2,060 offensive yards as a junior with 15 TDs ... played basketball and ran track ... all-district in hoops ... coached by Jim Skinner.

Personal - Parents: Marc and Felecia Thompson ... born Nov. 23, 1983 ... university studies major.

Join the discussion on the Bomar thread on the message board.