Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Quarterback Casey Thompson Finds Routine at Nebraska

July 10, 2022

Casey Thompson has been in Lincoln for just over six months. Since his arrival, he’s gone through winter conditioning, spring football and summer conditioning with Nebraska. He’ll soon kick off fall camp with the Huskers on July 27.

He’ll tell you he’s found his routine in that time. He’s familiar with Lincoln now—which is just about six hours from his hometown of Oklahoma City—and he has a few restaurants he enjoys.

Food—and finding good restaurants—is part of Thompson’s routine. He has an ongoing list of restaurants for the cities he’s lived in and the cities he’s visited. It’s created simply by asking around—he’s even turned to Instagram Stories for recommendations—and inquiring about where he can get the best of this or the best of that.

“I actually never even finished the list in Austin and I was there for . . . Oh, dang. You know, almost four years,” Thompson said. “It’s just something that I like to do whenever I have free time or whenever I have family or friends in town, or sometimes even just by myself.”

Thompson’s list of restaurants to try in Lincoln and Omaha is already long. He’ll try to get as many checked off as long as he’s in Nebraska, but there’s a specific reason he never got through the list in Austin.

“I spend most of my time at the facility,” Thompson said.

That’s the thing about Thompson. If you veer too far away from football in the conversation, he’ll steer you right back. He’s not a machine, of course, but he is focused on the task at hand. If you ask about his future goals, he’ll tell you abut his NFL dreams and the training facilities he hopes to establish in towns like Lincoln, Oklahoma City and Dallas-Fort Worth.

It’s clear that football is Thompson’s passion. At least a major one.

“I just want to be doing this as long as possible, whether that’s playing or coaching,” he said. “And so the way I envision . . . it’s just playing for Nebraska this season. That’s where I’m at. I’m focusing on the team and the team’s success and I want to win games. I want to win a championship.”

He has two years of eligibility at Nebraska, so he has time if he wants it. Thompson, however, moves quickly. When he arrived at Nebraska in January, he went to work establishing relationships with his new teammates. That included a dinner, paid for by Thompson, with the offensive line.

It was perfect too, mixing Thompson’s desire to know his new teammates with his love of trying new restaurants. The group ate at Rodizio Grill in the Haymarket, racking up a pretty impressive bill by the end of it.

Thompson didn’t stop there. Plenty of stories have been written about the quarterback’s dedication to the game of football. He’s a self-proclaimed football junkie, and he seeks out others like him. Offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, for example, is one of those football junkies. Thompson lives and breathes the playbook and he’s constantly studying film, often joined by Whipple or Coach Scott Frost.

The goal? Thompson would like to know every single play Nebraska installed for 2022 and every play it ran in 2021 by kickoff in Ireland on Aug. 27. It’s a big undertaking, but Thompson is determined to make that goal a reality.

You can probably credit Thompson’s dad, Charles, for a little of how he operates. The two talk football—”There’s always something to talk about with football.”—and it’s been a major focus of their relationship.

“My dad was my coach growing up my whole life,” Thompson said. “From the age of four until all the way to high school when I was 14 or 15, but then he basically became a coach off the field. He’s at every game. He watches every game. He breaks it down. We’ve had film study, film sessions, one-on-one meetings starting back when I was five or six years old. The first year of playing football, he kind of gave me a year to just be myself and get used to it.

“But it was always my decision to start playing at a young age.”

That dedication to every little detail has surfaced in how Thompson works with his teammates. Take wide receiver Marcus Washington, for example. He was Thompson’s teammate at Texas for three seasons, transferring to Nebraska alongside Thompson this past offseason. The two have worked together bridging the gap between Texas’ verbiage in its playbook to Nebraska’s.

For Thompson, he wants to help teach as much as learn, so he’s quick to organize workouts, film sessions, you name it. That means there isn’t a lot of free time for Thompson. He tries to get out and about, but it’s hard when you spend so much time at the stadium.

“When I’m not at the facility or doing something football related, I just like to relax in my apartment and go out to eat and and do things like that,” he said. “I don’t have a lot of free time but when I do try to get out in the city and go eat a little bit.”

Thompson hasn’t been in Lincoln long, but it’s starting to feel more and more like home. He’s ready to kick off the season, but there’s still plenty of work to be done on the way. Fall camp will be here before we know it, which means if you need to find Thompson, he’ll likely be at Memorial Stadium studying the playbook or watching film.

But you might just find him at a restaurant in Lincoln too. It’s part of the routine, after all.

Hail Varsity will have more from its interview with Thompson in the coming weeks. Check back for more.

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