South Carolina quarterback Dylan Thompson is set to take the reigns for the Gamecocks for the first time this season.
The fifth-year-senior has seen plenty of playing time throughout his time in Columbia, but he’ll now become the face of one of the nation’s top college football programs.
After backing up Connor Shaw for the last several seasons, Thompson will get his first test as the team’s leader when his Gamecocks host Texas A&M Thursday.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He’s As Religious As Tim Tebow
Thompson has deceptive mobility for a quarterback. He may not blow past any defenders, but he’s more than capable of escaping pressure and extending the play.
In 2012, Thompson replaced an injured Shaw against 11th-ranked Clemson and completed 23 of 41 passes for 310 yards and 3 touchdowns on the way to a 27-17 win.
In South Carolina’s Outback Bowl matchup against Michigan that season, Thompson continued to show his value to the Gamecocks. Spurrier was able to send Thompson in, cold off of the bench, to spell Shaw and continue to run the offense without missing a beat.
In that game, Thompson picked up where he had left off against Clemson, completing seven of his 10 throws for 117 yards and two touchdowns, including a game-winning bomb to Bruce Ellington with 11 seconds left.
5. He’s Says He’s Ready to Finally Be ‘The’ Guy
Thompson’s 3-0 as a starter with 25 games under his belt and is 120-of-218 passing with 1,827 yards, 14 touchdowns and five interceptions in his career.
The only real question is whether he’s up for being the guy at South Carolina.
“Being the quarterback at this school and being from in-state, it’s a fun thing,” Thompson said at SEC Media Days. “It’s a lot of fun having people look at you and ask you stuff wherever you go. I want them to know I’m putting in more time than any quarterback in the SEC and in the country. I’m sure there are a lot of guys that work hard, but I always try to remind myself that there’s somebody at Baylor, at UCLA, at another university that’s working to be great. Where have I done myself today to be great?”
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