UBT 728 x 90 Ad
Photo Credit: John Peterson

QB Casey Thompson Confident Heading Into First Start for Huskers

August 21, 2022

Casey Thompson can only recall a single occasion he’s been nervous leading up to a game in his college football career.

That game was a Week 3 matchup between Texas and Rice. Thompson, in his third year as a quarterback for the Longhorns, was making his first start.

“I remember getting on the bus from the hotel to the stadium,” Thompson said at Sunday’s press conference. “And that was the only time I got nervous the whole season.”

Thompson said he was the most relaxed he’d been less than a month later against Oklahoma, a game with far more attention on it. When he makes his first start for Nebraska against Northwestern on Saturday, Thompson expects a continuation of last year’s demeanor.

“When we get over there I think the main thing is on game day, my confidence and poise and my body language,” he said. “Just showing the rest of the team and the offense that, ‘Hey, we’ve been here before, we’ve practiced for this and we’re all prepared. Just relax, have fun, and play the game.'”

Thompson was only recently announced as the starter for the season opener, but seemingly sat either at the top of the depth chart or near it since arriving in Lincoln. A few weeks ago, head coach Scott Frost said it was his “job to lose.” The closest contender was likely Chubba Purdy, given he had split first-team reps with Thompson.

While Thompson himself was thankful to hear Frost announce it publicly, he wasn’t caught off guard either.

“I’ve kind of known for a little bit, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise,” he said. “Just based on how the practices have been going and the scrimmages and just how the team and offense has responded to my leadership.”

Frost said Sunday that Thompson’s experience helped him land the starting spot, specifically pointing to his lack of mistakes. In the past four years under Frost, that’s been an issue at the position, whether it was four-year starter Adrian Martinez or the assortment of others who received playing time.

Thompson built off Frost’s statement in further detail, recalling that he had five turnovers through 15 spring practices and “four or five” this fall. In both periods, one of those turnovers came off a tipped pass, according to Thompson.

The quarterback doesn’t yet know what the depth chart will look like at the rest of the skill positions, but had praise for the players he’ll be throwing and handing the ball off to. He said the Huskers have more players at each position than Texas did, which helps when it comes to depth.

Two receivers Thompson had praise for were Trey Palmer, who he said is “probably the fastest receiver” he’s thrown to, and Marcus Washington, who also transferred from Texas.

“Marcus is a great route runner,” Thompson said. “He has very natural hands. He’s very long, he’s like 6-foot-3, he has long arms. He does a good job of understanding leverage and just the art of route running. And I can tell that Marcus spent a lot of time around coach Sark (Steve Sarkisian) because his level of football IQ is through the roof right now.”

When Washington arrived at Nebraska, he noticed the focus Thompson had, according to the quarterback. Washington said earlier this fall that he felt they both have a chip on their shoulder heading into this season. Thompson agreed with that sentiment, saying it comes from a number of things, including being doubted, coming back from injury and the fact that Nebraska is coming off a string of losing seasons.

At the same time, just having success isn’t all Thompson wants. He wants to be perfect.

“I want to have perfect throws, I want to make perfect reads,” he said. “Throughout the last like 18 or 19 practices, I’ve had a couple practices where I was like maybe one or two throws off from being perfect on the whole day from start to finish in the practice. So I’m just continuing to strive for perfection.”

The first chance for Thompson to perform and pursue perfection in a game for the Huskers will come on Saturday. As he emphasized, he feels he’s prepared for it.

“On Saturdays, I’ll have complete confidence,” Thompson said. “And like I said, we’re ready as a team, we’re ready as an offense.”

  • Never miss the latest news from Hail Varsity!

    Join our free email list by signing up below.

UBT 300 x 600 Ad
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap