The Norman Transcript

Sports

March 5, 2014

Thompson looking for fresh start in Utah

Graduate school opportunities played into QB's decision

NORMAN — Kendal Thompson knew he wanted to play football at Oklahoma. Whether it was to follow in his father Charles’ footsteps or because he grew up around the program, being a Sooner was his dream.

That dream ended for good when Thompson signed a letter of intent to play football at Utah. He had been with OU for the past three years, but felt it was time for a new beginning.

“I just felt I needed to go and get a fresh start and have a chance to compete for a starting job at a big-time conference,” Thompson said.

The Utes finished ninth in the Pac-12 in passing yards and10th in points scored last season.

Thompson, a Southmoore alum, will graduate from OU in May. He is looking to begin graduate school in the fall, a time in which he’s also hoping to lead the Utes as their starting quarterback. It’s a scenario he didn’t see a month ago.

“When I first decided to transfer and get my release from OU, it was one of those deals where me and my family sat down and looked at certain situations and Utah was actually not one of the ones we had on our list,” Thompson said. “But after it leaked out that I was going to leave, their new offensive coordinator Dave Christensen contacted me. Me and him kind of built a relationship.

“I knew about the offense he had at Missouri, back when they had Brad Smith and Chase Daniel. With the new coordinator, they kind of had some struggles at quarterback. I feel like I have the chance to go in there and be the guy.”

Thompson, who has two years of eligibility remaining, was eying Louisville and Vanderbilt. But the quarterback situation at Utah and his grad school plans gave the Utes the upper hand.

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