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1 DAY TO 2019 KICKOFF: Skylar Thompson

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In which BracketCat counts down the last day until the 2018 kickoff with a profile of—who else?—Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson.

#10 Skylar Thompson
As has been well said by others, the health of Skylar Thompson (10) will be the biggest determining factor in K-State’s success (or lack thereof) this season.
Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Goal No. 10: NEVER GIVE UP. Never, never, never.

#10 Skylar Thompson

Redshirt Junior | 6-2 | 212 lbs. | Independence, Missouri
Skylar Thompson
Skylar Thompson
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Quarterback
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Unquestioned Starter (at last!)
  • Status: On Scholarship

And now for a profile of the guy who, in 2017, lived the mantra of “NEVER GIVE UP...

Skylar John Thompson (b. June 4, 1997) is a young quarterback with a big arm who helped to lead K-State to significant wins down the stretch run of 2017 and competed heatedly with TCU quarterback Alex Delton for the starting nod under center as a sophomore in 2018.

Thompson enters his junior season ranked fifth in school history in career completion percentage (minimum 200 attempts) at 59.45 percent and ninth in career passing efficiency (130.56). He also ranks 20th in school history in career passing yards.

Thompson, who became just the second player in school history to reach 2,000 career passing yards prior to the end of his sophomore season and now has been voted a team co-captain for the second straight season, was one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the Class of 2016 when he graduated early and enrolled at K-State in January 2016.

He shined on the scout team during his redshirt season in 2016 and was a co-winner of the team’s Red Raider Award as the top contributor on the scout team.

In 2017, Thompson became just the second freshman quarterback to start under Bill Snyder (the other, for the trivia inclined, was Allan Evridge, but that didn’t go nearly so well). For more feel-goods about this success story, read this wonderful story by Kellis Robinett.

He played in eight games in 2017, including starts in each of the final four contests, and threw for 689 yards and five touchdowns on 51-of-83 aim while rushing for 237 yards and another three scores as he earned votes for Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year.

Thompson also tied for third in school history in passing touchdowns among freshmen, while he had the fourth-most passing yards by a freshman in school history.

He had his best game of the year at the most important time as he led K-State to an improbable win at No. 10 Oklahoma State, when he threw for 204 yards and three touchdowns on 10-of-13 accuracy.

With the help of Byron Pringle, Thompson earned a passer efficiency rating of 284.9 against the Cowboys, the fourth-highest mark in school history and the highest ever by a freshman.

He also rushed for 93 yards and another score at OSU, and he was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week and a Manning Award Star of the Week.

Thompson also earned Big 12 Newcomer of the Week accolades as he led K-State to a win over Iowa State, throwing a game-winning touchdown pass on the final play of regulation.

He had 124 of his 152 passing yards against the Cyclones in the fourth quarter after K-State trailed by 12 points with 13:46 left in the game.

Continuing the comeback theme, Thompson accounted for two touchdowns and threw for a two-point conversion in the second half and overtime at Texas Tech, leading the Wildcats to the largest fourth-quarter deficit they’ve ever overcome in a road game in school history.

Thompson played in 11 games in 2018, with 10 starts, throwing for 1,391 yards and nine touchdowns on 122-of-208 aim with just four interceptions. He also added 373 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 105 carries.

Thompson finished the year ranked seventh in the Big 12 in total offense (160.4 yards per game) and passing efficiency (125.3). He threw for a career-best 213 yards on two occasions, against UTSA and Texas Tech.

Despite the disappointing end result, Thompson set career highs in completions (18) and attempts (27) at Iowa State, while he also tied his career high in touchdown passes (3).

He recorded a two-touchdown game against UTSA and rushed for a season-high 80 yards against Oklahoma State, a week after tallying a career-long rush of 52 yards at Baylor.

Thompson enters 2019 as a member of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award watch list after earning his bachelor’s degree in management in May 2019.

A three-year starter at Fort Osage High School under head coach Ryan Schartz, he was regarded as one of the top 250 players in the class of 2016 by Rivals, while the recruiting service also rated him the seventh-best dual-threat quarterback in the nation and the No. 2 prospect in the state of Missouri.

Thompson also was ranked as the 32nd-best dual-threat quarterback by ESPN and the 65th-best overall by Scout.

He was named the 2015 Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year and Simone Award winner as the most outstanding football player in the Kansas City metropolitan area, and also was a finalist for the award in 2014, while he is a two-time member of the All-Simone team.

Thompson was a two-time first-team all-state selection by the Missouri Football Coaches Association who also was selected to the USA Today Sports/American Family Insurance All-USA Missouri Team as a senior, while the organization selected him as the offensive player of the year.

He led the Indians to a 13-1 record and the Missouri Class 5 state championship in 2015 as he threw for 2,112 yards and 25 touchdowns, with just three interceptions, on 138-of-204 passing (67.7 percent).

Thompson also rushed for 1,092 yards and 19 touchdowns on 188 carries, and set a state championship game record in the Indians’ 63-28 win over Chaminade, as he accounted for 455 yards of total offense, completing 13 of 15 passes for 253 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 202 yards and three scores.

He threw for 2,385 yards and 24 touchdowns to just six interceptions as a junior in 2014, while rushing for 461 yards and nine touchdowns, and also played basketball, earning second-team all-state honors as a sophomore.