Oklahoma signs top WR, son of former Sooner QB
Kendal Thompson has the lineage, as the son of a former Oklahoma starting quarterback, as well as the statistics. He's hoping to leave behind any baggage left by his father.
Thompson, who enrolled at Oklahoma last month, joined 16 other players in signing letters of intent Wednesday to play football for the Sooners. Thompson isn't the highest-rated of Oklahoma's recruits, but his last name is arguably the most familiar to fans of the Sooners.
His father, Charles Thompson, starred as a wishbone quarterback for Oklahoma in the late 1980s before his arrest on drug charges in 1989. The image of him in an orange jail jumpsuit — splashed across the cover of Sports Illustrated — became a symbol of college athletics run amok.
He went on to spend two years in federal prison. But he's worked hard to rehabilitate his image and has found success as a motivational speaker and businessman.
Kendal Thompson starred at Southmoore High School in nearby Moore. He missed all but four games as a senior because of a knee injury but passed for 2,793 yards and 29 touchdowns as a junior for the SaberCats while rushing for 466 yards and 10 touchdowns.
"Kendal is a guy who throws the ball really well," coach Bob Stoops said. "He's been developed since a young age. I'm excited about him as a passer."
Stoops also said the 6-foot-2, 175-pound Thompson also provides the Sooners with a quarterback who can play receiver a few times a game, giving defenses a different look.
Stoops said Charles Thompson's star-crossed history shouldn't affect how people see his son.
"In the end (Kendal) has to be his own guy," Stoops said. "Charles has done a great job. ... That will be for them as a family to work though those kind of things. We just want him to be Kendal."
Thompson — one of three incoming freshmen who have already enrolled at the university — is one of two quarterbacks who could join the Sooners next season. Archie Bradley of Broken Arrow is also a highly regarded baseball prospect and has said that if he attends Oklahoma, he would be on a baseball scholarship and walk on to the football team.
Oklahoma already has three quarterbacks on scholarship, including two-year starter Landry Jones.
In Trey Metoyer of Whitehouse, Texas, the Sooners signed the highest-rated wide receiver in the program's history. Scout.com ranked Metoyer as the No. 1 receiver nationally. He had 108 catches for 1,540 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2010.
Metoyer's 259 career catches were second-best in Texas high school history, behind former University of Texas standout Jordan Shipley, and his 52 career touchdowns is third in Texas history.
The three defensive tackles signed by the Sooners — 6-foot-2, 270-pound Marquis Anderson of Cibolo, Texas; 6-foot-6, 290-pound Jordan Phillips of Towanda, Kan.; and 6-foot-4, 290-pound Jordan Wade of Round Rock, Texas — all are considered among the nation's best at the position.
Phillips was considered Kansas' top recruit, and the Sooners also landed Missouri's top recruit in Dan Tapko, a defensive end and tight end who starred at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City.
Stoops' defensive line class also includes 6-foot-5, 257-pound Nathan Hughes of Spring, Texas, ranked as the fifth-best defensive end nationally by Scout.com.
Oklahoma lost another defensive end as Cooper Washington instead signed with Texas Tech after earlier making a verbal commitment to the Sooners. But they also picked up a last-minute prospect in cornerback Bennett Okotcha, who had verbally committed to Notre Dame.
Anderson is already enrolled at Oklahoma, as is running back Brandon Williams of Brookshire, Texas, who rushed for 2,438 yards and 33 touchdowns as a senior and was considered among the state of Texas' top five prospects.
"We were and still are a young team, but our philosophy has been to play the guys who are ready to play," Stoops said. "We're seeing more and more who are coming to us with the maturity to be on the field. If they can help us, they'll have that opportunity."
PLAYERS WHO HAVE SIGNED WITH OU:
• Marquis Anderson, defensive tackle, 6-2, 270, Steele HS, Cibolo, Texas
• Dylan Dismuke, offensive line, 6-6, 292, Duncan (Okla.) HS
• Derek Farniok, offensive tackle, 6-9, 320, Washington HS, Sioux Falls, S.D.
• Nathan Hughes, defensive end, 6-5, 257, Klein Oak HS, Spring, Texas
• Kameel Jackson, wide receiver, 6-1, 185, Sam Houston HS, Arlington, Texas
• P.L. Lindley, linebacker, 6-2, 205, Stony Point HS, Round Rock, Texas
• Trey Metoyer, wide receiver, 6-2, 185, Whitehouse (Texas) HS
• Nila Kneubuhl, offensive line, 6-4, 280, Trinity HS, Euless, Texas
• Bennett Okotcha, defensive back, 6-0, 175, Coppell (Texas) HS
• Jordan Phillips, defensive line, 6-6, 290, Circle HS, Towanda, Kan.
• Frank Shannon, defensive back, 6-3, 205, Skyline HS, Dallas
• Max Stevenson, tight end, 6-6, 240, Klein Oak HS, Spring, Texas
• Dan Tapko, defensive end and tight end, 6-5, 235, Rockhurst HS, Kansas City, Mo.
• Kendal Thompson, quarterback, 6-2, 175, Southmoore HS, Moore, Okla.
• Jordan Wade, defensive tackle, 6-4, 290, Stony Point HS, Round Rock, Texas
• Brandon Williams, running back, 6-0, 190, Brookshire Royal (Texas) HS
• Denzel Williams, running back, 5-9, 190, Martin HS, Arlington, Texas