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March 17, 2014

Kendal Thompson ready to build a new legacy in Utah

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Oklahoma’s quarterback position is drastically different this spring after Blake Bell, Trevor Knight and Kendal Thompson were the three quarterbacks competing for a starting job in 2013.

Knight is the only quarterback who remains a member of the quarterback group from a year ago. He’s being backup up by Cody Thomas, Justice Hansen and Texas Tech transfer Baker Mayfield this spring.

Blake Bell’s move to tight end certainly changes the dynamic of the quarterback position. But the transfer of Kendal Thompson is the other major move that has reshaped the position this spring.

Thompson is still around Norman this spring. He’s just not in an OU uniform. He’s working to graduate this spring before traveling out to Utah to become a member of the Utes’ football program.

“I’ll always have love for the program and it’s always going to be the school I love to watch, even when I’m old and tired,” said Kendal Thompson in an interview with SoonerScoop.com during last week’s Pro Day in Norman.

Thompson was a spectator last week as former OU players were going through drills in front of NFL scouts and personnel directors.

“I’ll obviously love Utah but OU will always have a part of my heart. That’s why I’m here today and why I continue to support these guys,” he said. “We’re all still a family and that’ll go a long ways after football.”

We wrote earlier about Bob Stoops’ decision to welcome back Damien Williams to the OU football team after dismissing him from the team during the 2013 season.

Stoops is not a coach that holds grudges. He’s proving that once again by allowing Thompson to maintain workout privileges even though he’s already decided to transfer out of the OU program.

“It made me gain a lot of respect from him in that regard because he didn’t have to do that,” said Thompson of Stoops’ generosity. “He could have said I wasn’t a part of team and told me I had to find stuff on my own. They’ve allowed me to keep using stuff and it just shows the type of person and man he is.”

Thompson also talked publicly for the first time about his reasons for transferring out of the OU program.

“I just felt like after the Sugar Bowl, in that down period, I took time to kind of reflect on everything and I just felt like I have two years left and when I graduate in May, I felt like I needed an opportunity to go somewhere and have a fresh start,” he explained. “With the injury, that kind of put me behind the eight ball a little bit. It was bad timing and nobody’s fault. It was just one of those incidents where timing plays a part in everything.

“I just felt like I wanted to step up and see what I can do going somewhere else.”

No one can doubt Thompson’s intelligence. The redshirt sophomore will graduate from the university in just three years this May. He researched his options and found a man in Utah who he always admired: Offensive coordinator Dave Christensen.

Christensen was the architect of some of the best offenses in the history of the Big 12 Conference while at Missouri. OU fans remember how frustrating it was to play against Brad Smith and that Tigers offense back in 2002.

Christensen also help mold Chase Daniel into one of the top quarterbacks in college football.

After spending time at Wyoming as their head coach, Christensen landed in Utah as their offensive coordinator.

“Obviously being in Big 12 country I’m very familiar with Brad Smith and Chase Daniel,” said Thompson. “They put up very prolific numbers. I feel like in his scheme, that’s an offense I can definitely thrive in.”

Want another good Samaritan on the OU staff? How about defensive tackles coach Jerry Montgomery. Thompson said he played a big role in hooking Thompson up with his future program.

“Actually coach Montgomery is the one who actually knew Christiansen because they were together at Wyoming,” explained Thompson.

The University of Oklahoma will be in Thompson’s blood forever. He leaves a program his father played for. A program he grew up loving.

“It was definitely hard to walk away,” he said. “Obviously with my father, being a legacy kid, I grew up loving this program and still love this program.”

Thompson says he leaves Norman with no regrets though. He’ll try and start a new legacy of his own in Utah. Surely many Sooner fans will be paying attention to that program once again. Maybe Thompson can help offer a little Sooner payback for fans who still feel some anger over that 2009 loss to BYU in the season opener.

Mississippi State NEWS


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