Thompson primed to star

Jacob Clanton, Print Editor-in-Chief

Legend has it, if you lose two quarterbacks to injury, a third will appear. Of course, it will waste your third wish, but that’s a secondary issue.

Kansas State football apparently found a few more wishes.

For the third time in his career, Jesse Ertz was poised to be the starting quarterback for K-State. However, he was injured during the Texas game, basically ending his football career.

Ertz’s backup, Alex Delton, performed admirably, but was injured in the Kansas game on a late hit out of bounds. Though he returned for the first half of the Texas Tech game, another hit knocked Delton out of the game, this time for good.

K-State’s next man up was Skylar Thompson, a redshirt freshman. This is a man who hadn’t played any Football Bowl Subdivision games before this season. His first game against a non-cupcake opponent was against KU, who, even though they are not good, is still a step up from high school football.

Thompson’s first real test was against Texas Tech. He produced miracles twice that game. First, he marched the Wildcats 80 yards down the field, tying the game up on a last second touchdown and two-point conversion. Then, in overtime, Thompson threw the game-winning touchdown.

At that point, I knew Thompson was special, but he continued to raise the bar.

On the road against ranked Oklahoma State, Thompson played one great game, guiding K-State to a 45-40 win. The next week, Thompson orchestrated another game-winning drive, throwing a touchdown pass as time expired to beat Iowa State 20-19.

After watching Thompson perform this season, I think that he is going to be one of the greatest quarterbacks in K-State history (knock on wood).

Under head coach Bill Snyder, K-State has a history of successful returning quarterbacks. Ell Roberson, Michael Bishop, Collin Klein and even Ertz have had a tremendous second season under Coach Snyder’s tutelage. There’s no reason to believe Thompson will be any different. Sure, Delton still might start next year, but just wait for a few years. Then Thompson can really shine.

In addition to returning as starting quarterbacks, these legendary quarterbacks have one other thing in common; they’re dual-threat quarterbacks. Guess what Thompson is? That’s right; he’s a dual-threat quarterback.

Coach Snyder has created a system that dual-threat thrive in. He has found the perfect mix of runs and passes that make any decent dual-threat quarterback look like a Heisman contender during their stay here.

“But wait Jacob,” I can hear you saying. “What if Coach Snyder doesn’t stay?”

Well, I’ll give you that point. He probably won’t stay. In fact, I’m not sure he should (but that’s a story for another time). That won’t be a problem though. He’s claimed his son, Sean Snyder, has been running the program for a number of years now. Funnily enough, Coach Snyder wants Sean to be the next head coach.

Whether Sean should be the head coach or not is a whole other debate (I say search for others first), but I do think KSU president Richard Myers and athletic director Gene Taylor are sympathetic to Coach Snyder’s cause and are more willing to hire Sean than former duo Kirk Schultz and John Currie were. If, as Coach Snyder has said, Sean has been running the program for years, then I think this is a great hire. It would ensure Thompson, and the rest of the Wildcats, would stay in the same basic system. Not much would probably change because let’s be honest, does much need to?

With or without Sean as head coach, I think Skylar Thompson will go down as one of the great K-State quarterbacks. With his late-game clutch ability and his dual-theatness, Thompson will be unstoppable in the Big 12. I would go so far as to say that by his senior year, Thompson will be a Heisman contender.