Mississippi State Football: Keytaon Thompson Will Continue Trend of Elite QB Play

Oct 24, 2015; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen talks into his headset during third quarter of the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State won 42-16 Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 24, 2015; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen talks into his headset during third quarter of the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State won 42-16 Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports /

The Maroon and White Nation team will begin taking a look at the prospects in Mississippi State’s 2017 recruiting class. Up first is 4-star quarterback Keytaon Thompson.

Mississippi State made a splash in last year’s recruiting class.

All the way back in December of 2015, even before the 2016 class put pen to paper, Mississippi State landed a commitment from Louisiana signal caller Keytaon Thompson. Thompson chose Dan Mullen and the Bulldogs over finalists Florida, LSU, Miami, and Tennessee. The commitment came as a surprise to many, as most seemed to believe the New Orleans prospect would stay in state.

Nonetheless, Thompson gave his commitment to Mullen and held firm throughout the entire process. Teams such as LSU and even Texas came calling at the end, but Mississippi State held on to their prized quarterback recruit.

Keytaon Thompson put together an amazing high school career while at Landry-Walker High School. The 6’4″, 225 pound dual-threat signal caller caused headaches for coaches every Friday night. The elusive and athletic play-maker burned opposing defenses with his strong arm through the air and on the ground with his feet. He developed into one of the better dual-threat quarterback prospects in all of America.

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Thompson’s junior season, the season before he gave his commitment to the Bulldogs, was simply elite. The NOLA native totaled 2,006 yards through the air, 754 more with his feet, and found the end zone a combined 40 times.

His senior campaign was even better. The 4-star quarterback threw for 3,924 yards and 46 touchdowns. On the ground, Thompson burned defenses for 1,429 yards and another 26 scores. The Mississippi State signee recorded a combined 5,353 yards and 72 touchdowns over the course of his final high school season.
(*Stats per 247Sports)

In addition to all the numbers, Thompson led his Landry-Walker squad to the Louisiana 5A State Championship in December. Landry-Walker knocked off longtime Louisiana powerhouse program West Monroe 50-21 to capture the state title. Thompson earned MVP honors for his performance. Nola.com’s Amos Morale III wrote on Thompson’s performance:

"Thompson finished Saturday night’s matchup with 154 yards rushing and a touchdown to go along with his 303 yards and five touchdowns through the air.He also made time to direct Landry-Walker’s band late in the fourth quarter.“The game being the type of game it was you can do those things,” Thompson said. “It was just great … you wanna make all the memories that you can. It won’t last forever. And like I said before, I’m just thankful.”"

Soon after winning the state crown, Thompson was named Louisiana’s Gatorade Player of the Year. He became the first player in school history to earn the prestigious honor. Past winners from the state of Louisiana include Leonard Fournette and Landon Collins.

So, what does Thompson bring to the Mississippi State football program?

Mississippi State is getting one of the best quarterback prospects from around the entire nation. Thompson has the ability to change the course of a game through his elite arm talent, decision making, and his feet. Rated as the third best dual-threat signal caller in the 2017 class, Thompson became the highest rated quarterback to ever sign with Mississippi State.

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With only two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, Thompson will likely play some snaps and get his feet wet during his freshman campaign in Starkville. He is a perfect fit for Dan Mullen’s offense, so it will be exciting to see what he can do — even if it is just in limited duty. Plus, Thompson gives Mississippi State a legit option at quarterback whenever it is his time. For years, MSU fans had to worry about the most important position on the field, but those days are over.

Dan Mullen had a hand in developing Alex Smith at Utah, Tim Tebow at Florida, and even Cam Newton for a season in Gainesville. While at Mississippi State, Mullen has continued to develop and produce elite quarterback play. For a program that had gone so long without a reliable play-maker behind center, this has been exciting to witness as a Bulldogs fan.

Mullen, obviously, recruited and developed the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Dak Prescott has become a household name and a legitimate star at the NFL level. With Dak excelling for America’s Team, Mullen continues to develop his quarterbacks in Starkville. In his first year as a starter, Nick Fitzgerald led the entire Southeastern Conference in total offense. Fitz is expected to take the next step and become an even better player in year two as ‘the guy’.

With Keyaton Thompson in the program, Mississippi State is becoming a quarterback pipeline. Who would have thought that five years ago?

Check out Thompson’s highlights here.