Now we know what new Huskies football coach Jimmy Lake thought about the quarterback crew he inherited from Chris Petersen:
Kevin Thomson, a lightly recruited QB in 2014 — yes, 2014 — from Auburn Riverside High School who became the Big Sky Conference offensive player of the year at Sacramento State, is transferring as a graduate and will be immediately eligible at Washington, his third school in seven years.
“We’re really pleased that Kevin is returning to play for his hometown school,” Lake said in a statement announcing the move Wednesday. “He adds a lot of experience to our quarterbacks room and should help raise the level of competition for everyone.”
Should Washington play its home opener as scheduled Sept. 5 against Michigan, Thomson’s old team will be next up Sept. 12. He helped lead the Hornets to a 9-4 record and, at 7-1, a share of conference title and a berth in the NCAA FCS playoffs, a first in program history.
Thomson, 6-2 and 200 pounds, spent his first two seasons at Nevada-Las Vegas before having Tommy John elbow-ligament surgery that kept him out two seasons, for which he was granted medical redshirts. He transferred to Sac State as a sophomore in 2017, where he was 97-for-175 for 1,828 yards, 17 TDs and three interceptions. In seven games in 2018, he went 79-for-145 for 1,380 yards, eight touchdowns and one pick.
Last fall, Thomson completed 265 of 450 passes for 3,216 yards and 27 touchdowns with eight interceptions. Perhaps as importantly, he rushed for 619 yards and a team-best 12 rushing TDs. Against Arizona State, he was 32-for-50 for 263 yards an a TD pass.
He tied for third in voting for the Walter Payton Award, given to the nation’s top FCS offensive player, and was also a three-time Academic All-Big Sky selection.
Thomson’s experience and his capacity for rushing are big assets in a QB room that has a combined three passes among redshirt soph Jacob Sirmon and redshirt freshmen Ethan Garbers and Dylan Morris.
In 2019, heralded transfer Jacob Eason’s one-and-done UW season was a disappointment as the Huskies finished 8-5. Hyped as a first-round talent for years, Eason, a junior, was taken in the fourth round by Indianapolis — the sixth QB taken — to be one of three candidates to back up newly acquired veteran Philip Rivers.
Eason’s transfer from Georgia to Montlake inspired Jake Haener and Colson Yankoff to transfer from Washington. Retaining either one could have forestalled a need for Thomson, but the mismanagement of the QB recruiting left a gap.
The Pac-12 Conference has given permission for schools to allow players on campus to resume voluntary workouts on each campus. A report by Sports Illustrated said that the NCAA is considering a plan for schools with a Sept. 5 opener to begin required workouts July 13 and a six-week extended training camp July 24.
All sports calendars for return are subject to revision based on local governments’ decisions regarding management of the spread of coronavirus.
— Jimmy Lake (@CoachLakeUDUB) June 17, 2020