Thompson Named OU Starter

8-26-05 - Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops closed the preseason portion of football practice on Thursday evening with the highly anticipated announcement of a starting quarterback.

Junior Paul Thompson was given the starting nod, although Stoops emphasized that redshirt-freshman Rhett Bomar will play early and often.

“We decided as a staff that we are going to start Paul Thompson,” said OU head coach Bob Stoops. “We feel that he has earned it to this point. The way they have both competed and been supportive of each other and the team is a real positive in the eyes of the coaching staff.

“We do believe that Rhett has performed well enough and is close enough (to Thompson) that we intend to give him snaps early in games, as well as late in games.”

Thompson was Jason White’s backup in 2003, when the Sooner alum won the Heisman Trophy. Last season Thompson redshirted, along with Bomar, while recently departed Tommy Grady served as the backup.

“I am just excited and ready to get on the field and make some plays,” said Thompson, who has completed 66 percent of his career passes (31-for-47) and tossed four TDs compared to two INTs.

“It is good to be clear about where I am at, so that I can move forward and produce for this team,” said Thompson. “The competition is not going to stop here, though. It will continue through the season and it will make each of us better.”

Coach Stoops and Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Chuck Long informed Thompson and Bomar of their decision prior to practice. Stoops announced the decision to the entire team during the post practice huddle.

The next time OU takes to the practice field it will be for the first game week of the season. The team has Friday, Saturday and Sunday off before regrouping for full workouts on Monday.

OU’s home opener against TCU, which is slated for Sept. 3 at 11 a.m.