Dalton Schoen has a story to tell about Skylar Thompson from their days together on Kansas State’s scout team.
His words illustrate why the Wildcats are confident in Thompson, even though the redshirt freshman is listed third on the depth chart behind Jesse Ertz and Alex Delton.
“He can definitely sling it around, especially when he is confident,” Schoen, a sophomore receiver, said. “He can make throws into very tight windows. He can air it out as well as anyone I have seen.
“I loved playing scout team with Skylar last year, because he had no pressure on him whatsoever, and he wasn’t afraid to make the tough throws. He did a great job of that last year, giving our defense such a good look. It was to the point where (defensive coordinator) Tom Hayes was like, ‘All right, that isn’t realistic. Their quarterback isn’t going to make that throw.’ ”
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Thompson flashed that skill for the first time in a meaningful game last week, completing 4 of 6 passes for 40 yards and running for 39 yards on 10 carries in a 30-20 victory over Kansas.
The former Fort Osage, Mo., standout led K-State’s offense throughout the second half after Delton was knocked out of the game with an injury.
“I was immensely proud of Skylar, because he hadn’t been on the field before,” K-State coach Bill Snyder said. “I thought his poise, and how he presented himself and how he handled all the mental things, he did quite well. He did a nice job and showed some leadership.”
It’s possible he sees more meaningful action on Saturday against Texas Tech.
Ertz has missed the last three games with a knee injury, and Delton may not be able to handle every snap, though he is expected to start against the Red Raiders. Snyder said Thompson has been practicing on a limited basis with K-State’s first-team offense for several weeks.
Most teams would tremble at the thought of using their third-string quarterback on the road, even in a complementary role. Not K-State.
What Thompson lacks in experience, he makes up for in arm strength … and highlights with the scout team.
“When you have a quarterback like Skylar, who can throw the ball the way he does,” K-State running back Barnes said, “special things will come.”
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett