Jack Thompson
Thompson in 2019, at Mike Leach's
Insurgent Warfare and Football Strategy class
No. 12, 14
Position:Quarterback
Personal information
Born: (1956-05-19) May 19, 1956 (age 65)
Tutuila, American Samoa
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:217 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school:Evergreen (White Center, Washington)
College:Washington State
NFL Draft:1979 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Pass attempts:845
Pass completions:449
Percentage:53.1
TD-INT:33-45
Passing yards:5,315
Passer rating:63.4
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Jack Thompson (born May 18, 1956), nicknamed "the Throwin' Samoan", is an American Samoan former professional American football quarterback. Thompson played in the National Football League for six seasons, four with the Cincinnati Bengals and two with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played college football at Washington State.

His nickname was bestowed on him by Spokesman-Review columnist Harry Missildine during Thompson's breakout sophomore season at Washington State in 1976.[1]

College career

As a collegian at Washington State in Pullman, Thompson set numerous school, Pac-10 and NCAA records. In the second game of 1976, he took over on offense after senior starter John Hopkins was injured making a tackle in the second quarter at Minnesota.[2] In a 2002 story, Thompson explained why he chose to attend Washington State and how his first series against Minnesota in 1976 was almost his last until offensive coordinator Bob Leahy convinced head coach Jackie Sherrill to leave Thompson in the game.[3]

As a fifth-year senior in 1978, Thompson finished ninth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy,[4][5] and concluded his college career as the most prolific passer in NCAA history with 7,818 passing yards.[6] Thompson set Pac-10 records for attempts, completions, and TD passes. He was all-conference three times and either first-team, second-team, or honorable mention All-American three times.

Thompson is one of only two players in school history to have his number retired (with Pro Football Hall of Famer Mel Hein); he wore No. 14 and graduated from Evergreen High School in White Center, Washington, in 1974, south of Seattle.

College statistics

Legend
Led the Pac-8/Pac-10
Pac-8/Pac-10 record
Led the NCAA
NCAA Record
Bold Career high
College passing statistics* [7]
Season School Games Cmp Att Yds Pct TD INT QBR
1975 Washington State 11 26 54 351 48.1% 3 2 113.7
1976 Washington State 11 208 355 2,762 58.6% 20 14 134.7
1977 Washington State 11 192 329 2,372 58.4% 13 13 124.1
1978 Washington State 11 175 348 2,333 50.3% 17 20 111.2
Career Washington State 44 601 1,086 7,818 55.3% 53 49 122.9

* Includes bowl games.

NFL career

Thompson was the first quarterback selected in the 1979 NFL Draft, taken third overall by the Cincinnati Bengals,[6][8] and played there for four years, which included the Super Bowl season in 1981.

Thompson went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1983 and was the starter, but was replaced the following year by Steve DeBerg.[9]

In 2008, ESPN ranked Thompson no. 26 among the 50 worst NFL Draft busts.[10]

NFL career statistics

Regular season

Year Team Games Passing Rushing Sacked Fumbles Record
GP GS Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A Lng TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD Sck Yds Fum Lost W–L
1979 CIN 9 1 39 87 44.8 481 5.5 50 1 5 42.4 21 116 5.5 5 16 178 3 1 0–1
1980 CIN 14 4 115 234 49.1 1,324 5.7 59 11 12 60.9 18 84 4.7 1 13 113 5 3 1-3
1981 CIN 8 0 21 49 42.9 267 5.4 21 1 2 50.3 0 0 0.0 0 7 61 0 0 0-0
1982 CIN 1 0 0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0
1983 TB 14 13 249 423 58.9 2,906 6.9 80 18 21 73.3 26 27 1.0 0 39 289 10 5 2-11
1984 TB 5 3 25 52 48.1 337 6.5 74 2 5 42.4 5 35 7.0 0 10 54 1 1 1-2
Total 51 21 449 845 53.1 5,315 6.3 80 33 45 63.4 70 262 3.7 6 85 695 19 10 4-17

Playoffs

Year Team Games Passing Rushing Sacked Fumbles Record
GP GS Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A Lng TD Int Rtg Att Yds Avg TD Sck Yds Fum Lost W–L
1981 CIN 2 0 1 1 100.0 14 14.0 14 0 0 118.7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0
Total 2 0 1 1 100.0 14 14.0 14 0 0 118.7 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0

After football

After his football career, Thompson settled in Seattle and became a mortgage banker, as well as a volunteer quarterbacks coach at Ballard High School. His son Tony, a tight end, followed in his dad's footsteps in suiting up at Washington State, and a nephew, Tavita Pritchard, was a quarterback at Stanford University.

References

  1. ^ Hanson, Scott (November 19, 2018). "Jack Thompson, before becoming a Washington State football legend, wanted to be a Husky". The Seattle Times. Retrieved February 22, 2021. I knew the guy who tagged me with it, Harry Missildine (of the Spokesman-Review), and I didn't think anything of it. It was pretty true. I am Samoan and I threw the ball. In these politically correct days, people might have a problem with it, but that's their problem, not mine. I am proud of it, and my dad, frankly, loved it.
  2. ^ Missildine, Harry (September 19, 1976). "Gophers whips Cougs". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. p. D1.
  3. ^ Witter, Greg (June 10, 2002). "Destiny: How legendary Jack Thompson landed and stayed at WSU". 247sports.com. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  4. ^ "Oklahoma's Sims Heisman winner". Lodi News-Sentinel. (California). UPI. November 29, 1978. p. 18.
  5. ^ Word, Ron (November 29, 1978). "Billy Sims". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. p. 49.
  6. ^ a b "Ohio State linebacker goes to beef up Buffalo". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. May 4, 1979. p. 49.
  7. ^ "Jack Thompson college statistics". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  8. ^ Bergum, Steve (May 4, 1979). "Cincinnati denies rumors; Thompson isn't trade bait". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). p. 49.
  9. ^ "Thompson hopes to come out of 'retirement'". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). October 7, 1984. p. 3C.
  10. ^ "Warrick, Klingler fell way short in Cincy". ESPN. April 16, 2008. Archived from the original on April 21, 2008. Retrieved September 19, 2020.