Keytaon Thompson excelling in new roles for ‘Hoos

Keytaon Thompson excelling in new roles for ‘Hoos
UVA junior quarterback Keytaon Thompson (Source: wvir)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia football team does not have a game this weekend.

Not after Louisville had to pause all football-related activities, due to a coronavirus outbreak.

The teams are tentatively scheduled to play next Saturday at Scott Stadium, and the extra time off might give the Cavalier coaches a chance to find yet-another way to use Keytaon Thompson.

When he transferred from Mississippi State to Virginia back on May 1st, Keytaon Thompson was hoping to win the Cavaliers' starting quarterback position.

A shoulder injury kept him from really competing with Brennan Armstrong, so Thompson starting looking for other ways to contribute.

“Just standing there at practice didn’t feel right," says Thompson. "Didn’t seem right.  It was kind of a mutual decision, for me to start running some routes, and doing some other things, to get involved on offense, and from there it continued to grow.”

Thompson’s first reception was a touchdown at Clemson, he led the team in rushing at Wake Forest, and he sealed the upset against North Carolina by picking up a first down on a fake punt.

Head coach Bronco Mendenhall says, “He came with a mindset of how can I help our team, how can I get on the field, what can I do to contribute?  He went from punt block, to kickoff return, to throwing a pass, to the quarterback. It changes every week. And he just smiles, and he says, ‘You know, I feel like a little kid again. I’m just playing football, it’s fun.’ And it’s kind of a rebirth.”

Quarterback is still the main focus for Thompson and the 'Hoos.

“I spent some time in the receiving room early in camp,” says Thompson, "but for the most part I’ve been in the quarterback meeting room, for the majority of the time.

Which means Thompson doesn’t have a lot of time to learn all of his new positions.

“Not much experience as a running back," says Thompson. "I’ve had a little at receiver, but as far as running back, I’ve probably stepped in in practice a few times to get extra handoffs during a drill, but not much experience at running back.”

His time at Virginia has not been what he expected, but Thompson says it has worked out great.

“Yeah man, it’s been very fun, very exciting," says Thompson. "Always learning something new, so yeah, it’s been very fun.”

Copyright 2020 WVIR. All rights reserved.