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Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Football: FAU names new starting quarterback

Football head coach Tom Herman names Casey Thompson as the new starting quarterback.
University Press
Photo of Quarterback Casey Thompson at a press conference on August 22, 2023.

Less than two weeks away from their first game in the American Athletic Conference, the Owls finally named their starting quarterback: graduate transfer Casey Thompson.

Thompson played with head football coach Tom Herman at the University of Texas at Austin in 2018 as a backup freshman. Thompson transferred from Texas after four years to the University of Nebraska in 2022 where he was named starter. During his time at the University of Nebraska, Thompson completed 63% of his passed and threw for almost 2,500 yards, while throwing 17 touchdown passes and ran for five touchdowns.

The Owls held their daily practice, open to the media on Tuesday. Thompson was seen practicing handoffs with projected starting running back senior Larry McCammon III. Last season, the Conference USA All-Conference running back rushed for 1,004 yards and scored seven touchdowns. He also caught 15 passes for 166 receiving yards.

After practice, Herman spoke to the media about Thompson being named the starting quarterback for the Owls and the quarterback battle between Thompson and junior Daniel Richardson, another quarterback transfer. Herman says that he is “confident” about the potential in the quarterback room. Herman almost went into depth about how Thompson has changed since their first meeting at Texas.

“I think the speed of the game has certainly slowed down for him over the years,” Herman said. “I think he’s got a presence; he sees the game. And he’s still got the tools that we fell in love with at him coming out of high school: he’s got a smooth, quick, easy release that could come out of different arm angles; he’s got good enough athleticism (he’s not Lamar Jackson, he’s not Michael Vick), but he’s an above average athlete that when the opportunities present themselves, he can do some damage with his feet, as well.”

Star wide receiver LaJohntay Wester spoke to the media about his work ethic, drive, and  experience at practice with his fellow receivers. He also spoke about Thompson’s leadership.

“Casey, he’s making crazy throws,” Wester said. “He’s a leader out there, and that’s all you could ask for as a receiver is [to] have someone leading the ship. I’m very excited to see what he’s going to do for us this year.”

Following Wester was true freshman tight end Zeke Moore. Herman has been giving high praise about Moore to the media throughout training camp this offseason. The Georgia native spoke about the learning curve from high school to college. Moore also went on to talk about adjustments, including managing his time between classes and playing well at camp. He said he has “100%” been acting as an underdog throughout practice.

“For me, it’s about trying to prove myself to my teammates and build their trust,” Moore said. “That’s the biggest thing I feel like you have to do as a freshman is build trust with your teammates and coaches because, without that, you won’t get that opportunity.”

Thompson took the stage last as the new leader in the huddle. He talked about his recovery from shoulder surgery and how he could adjust to the environment and the players and the team. He spoke about how FAU football coach Charlie Frye influenced him to play at FAU  because of Frye’s experience coaching NFL quarterbacks with the Miami Dolphins. 

“I think with anything in life, you have to earn it,” Thompson said, on how he felt being named the starting quarterback. “Honestly, what I like about coming here, and in any quarterback battle I’ve been in, is that nothing is given, and everything has to be earned. That’s something that I respect the coaches for making me earn it.”

Thompson also talked about his excitement for the offense and the players on the team. He went into depth about how he first got calls from offensive linemen greeting him before he joined FAU. Thompson says he has a tradition of paying for a meal with the entire offensive linemen.

Thompson said he first visited South Florida at nine years old while on a family vacation. He grew up and attended his previous universities in state capitals, so Boca Raton is a welcome outlier. 

“This is the first place I’ve ever lived that’s not the state capital,” Thompson said. “There’s not as much traffic. There’s not these big buildings. There’s not just a lot of things going on, like loud noises. I like that it is calm. I like the people, the people here are nice. You can just tell that South Florida is a good place to live. Like what I said, as far as the fanbase here, I like where it’s at. And I just want to continue to make an impact.”

He ended his turn by reassuring the fanbase of his intentions. 

“I’m a guy who is just gonna do my job, work hard—like I said, [bring] football IQ to the table. A good arm, a good release, and some athleticism in my legs. I am just going to try and manage the game as someone who just wants to lead the team and do my job and be positive. As far as what we would like to see from the fans, we want to see everyone come to the games. We want to see a packed out stadium. We want to see a lot of support from the community, and, whether things are good or bad in the season, on or off the field, I just want everyone to know they are going to get the same person from me all the time who’s going to try and work hard and do my job and stay positive,” stated Thompson. 

Maddox Greenberg is the Sports Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or DM via Twitter @MaddoxGreenberg and Instagram @maddoxblade04.

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About the Contributor
Maddox Greenberg, Sports Editor
Maddox started writing sports for the UP in Summer 2022 with the intention of improving his journalistic writing. He is a sophomore majoring in multimedia journalism and plans on becoming a sports broadcaster. He is a broadcaster for FAU Owl Radio.

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