Today is the last double-digit amount of days until Mississippi State football is back, as the Bulldogs will kick off the 2019 season in 10 days against the University of Louisiana at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Today’s spotlighted player is one of the best quarterbacks to come out of the state of Louisiana, No. 10, Keytaon Thompson.
Thompson is an extremely talented dual-threat quarterback from New Orleans. The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder was a consensus four-star recruit out of Landry-Walker High School in New Orleans. He was the No. 1 QB recruit in Louisiana and the No, 5 dual-threat in the country according to 247Sports and the No. 4 dual-threat quarterback in the country according to Rivals.
He compiled 10,737 yards of total offense and accounted for 149 touchdowns during his four-year prep career. During his senior season, he went 198-of-331 for 3,825 yards and 46 touchdowns. He also rushed the ball 152 times for 1,434 yards and 26 touchdowns. Thompson was responsible for 457 yards of total offense and six touchdowns in the 2016 Class 5A state championship game, leading Landry-Walker High School to a 50-21 win over West Monroe to win the school’s first state title.
The 5,259 yards accumulated during his senior campaign were good enough to have Thompson named a Parade All-American honorable mention and the 2016 Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year. He was also the 2016 District 8-5A MVP, the 2016 LSWA Class 5A Most Outstanding Offensive Player, and a finalist for the Gatorade National Player of the Year.
Thompson was also three-year starter on the Charging Buccaneers’ basketball team and was teammates with current MSU guard Lamar Peters. He and Peters led Landry-Walker to back-to-back Class 4A state championships in 2014 and 2015.
Following what might be considered to be the best high school career of any Louisiana quarterback in history, Thompson signed with Mississippi State on Dec. 14, 2016. He also had offers from LSU, Florida, Miami and Tennessee.
Thompson played in 10 games as a freshman in 2017 with his first career start coming in the TaxSlayer Bowl after Nick Fitzgerald was injured in the Egg Bowl. He completed 32-of-66 passes for 388 yards and two touchdowns on the year and was MSU’s third-leading rusher with 446 yards on 75 carries with six touchdowns.
Going back to his first career start, Thompson was absolutely phenomenal. He led the No. 23 Bulldogs past former Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals by a score of 31-27 in the TaxSlayer Bowl. He ran for 147 yards and three touchdowns and also completed 11-of-20 passes for 127 yards with an interception.
Last year as a sophomore, Thompson played in nine games and started once. He was 18-of-39 passing for 458 yards and six touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed 24 times for 226 yards and four touchdowns.
Heading into the 2019 season, Thompson is in a battle for the QB1 position with graduate transfer Tommy Stevens. Ultimately, I think Stevens gets the job this year, but Thompson has all the tools to be the 2020 starter for the Bulldogs in his last year of eligibility. We all know what Thompson can do with his legs, now he just needs to clean up his mechanics and learn to read his progressions better to take the next step as a passer.