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Every new recruiting class brings its own set of expectations, promises for the future, and potential future stars. It's no different for Kansas State in 2016, but one name clearly stands out from the rest. K-State's Ultimate Pick Up for 2016 is Independence, MO native, 4-star QB Skylar Thompson.
Thompson committed to K-State back in May 2015, and never wavered from the Cats even as his profile blew up. It started in June, as Skylar made waves at the Elite 11 semi-finals in Los Angeles. Thompson received offers and interest from programs all over the country, and of course heavy interest from other area FBS programs.
But that was only the beginning. Thompson led his Fort Osage team to a 2015 Missouri Class 5 football championship, first in the school's history. Thompson accounted for seven touchdowns in the title game rout, and also set a Show-Me bowl record with 455 total yards of offense.
He wasn't done there. The 6'3", 200lb signal caller started to rack up post-season awards. Thompson earned the 33rd annual Simone Award, given to the top high school football player in the Kansas City area. In doing so he joined fellow Wildcats Darren Sproles, Maurice Mack, Josh Freeman, and the only two-time award winner Dalvin Warmack, who Thompson will join in the backfield at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
Last, but most certainly not least, Thompson was named Gatorade Football Player of the Year for Missouri. The award is given to not only great athletes, but those those who "demonstrated high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership." Thompson is a great football player, but also a good student and young man of high-character; a "K-State-type" of young athlete.
Oh yeah, that good student graduated from high school at the end of the fall semester of his senior year. He signed his financial aid paperwork way back in October, and held strong to January when he finally enrolled in classes and began officially attending Kansas State University.
So now the highest rated recruit in K-State's 2016 class in on campus, meaning he will participate in spring practices, off-season workouts, and will get a whole extra semester on all but one of his fellow freshmen on learning Bill Snyder's complicated playbook.
Competition at QB could be the most important battle for K-State in 2016, as it was in 2015, and Thompson will be in the thick of it. He's got some stiff competiton, as Jesse Ertz, a former Iowa Gatorade Football player of the Year, and Alex Delton, an early-enrollee in 2015, will be back from injuries that prematurely ended their 2015 seasons and will be ready to compete hard for the starting gig in 2016. But Skylar Thompson will have every opportunity to earn his place on the depth chart in 2016.