Written by Ryan Wright
The depth of top quarterback talent in Texas is an embarrassment of riches for the coaches lining up killer offenses. One of the quarterbacks making opposing 5A defenses look silly is Class of 2021 recruit Aidan Thompson. The 6-4, 190-pound, field general has been at the helm of Cooper High School’s offense for two seasons now throwing for 1,954 yards with 15 touchdowns last year and topped that with a 2,038-yard 19-touchdown campaign as a junior. With the Cougars pushing their 2019 mark to 11-2, college coaches were able to see Thompson’s next level arm take over. Programs showing interest includes Abilene Christian, Tulsa, Illinois, Texas State, and Charlton with unofficial visits taken during the season to Texas State, Charlton, and Abilene Christian.
In an RNG exclusive interview partnered with QB Hit List, I sat down with the three-star standout covering his junior season on the field and growing skills in the pocket.
Aidan, at this point in your high school career you have to feel like a grizzled veteran going up against 5A Texas teams. The 2019 season was another year starting for the Cougars, how did this past season further your understanding of the game?
“Stating as a sophomore and as a junior, it has slowed down. The holes are bigger and the windows are longer. I am being patient with my young teammates and getting the older guys fired up as well. There was a lot of leadership skills learned this season. I am grinding away becoming the best QB I can become.”
What style of offense are you running with the Cougars?
“We run a lot of 21, 11, and I-formation personnel. We do a lot with a tight end. We are a pound and ground team, but we can beat you in the air. We are a dual-threat offense.”
Your arm is strong throwing 15-yard out routes to the sideline. Within the offense, what are some of your favorite routes to hit?
“I like those 18 to 15-yard comebacks. Throwing those on time, they are unstoppable. The post, is one of my favorites. You put it out there for your guy to go get; that is something special to watch in the pocket seeing him catch it.”
How did your game improve during the 2019 season?
“Everything slowed down. Everything was calm and cool. No one was pressing too hard. We put up tremendous numbers, 300 rushing and 200 throwing per game. How we played as a team was amazing. We knew we could go score at will.”
After a three-game run into the playoffs, what do you now feel are the overall strengths to your game?
“I was very fortunate to be selected as a captain as a junior, that was an honor. We had 30 or 40 seniors graduate. Now, our locker room is empty. I am building the relationship with the young guys for next year. On the comebacks, I am building that trust that they will be there. I am improving on my running. I have that ability to escape when needed. I want to work on that and being more accurate. I am working with my receivers and running backs making sure we have that faith in each other. That is a big part of the offense.”
With all the experience gained, looking back, will you do anything differently this offseason or with your weekly preparations in 2020 for a given game?
“Throughout last summer and in the spring, I sat down with my quarterback coach. I wanted to get a grasp of the offense and make it mine. On third and short, I want to know what he will call. We sat down and built that trust in the offseason. I am getting a better grasp on everything. We will be young this year but we have some explosive targets that will pop up.”
You covered some ground on this already, but focusing on your technique, what will you work on this offseason?
“Overall, I will work on getting bigger, faster, and stronger. I will buy in on that and trust that process. I am making sure that I am doing the extra work before and after school. I am the first one in and the last one out. I will work to have the team keep at it.”
When will you get all the receivers back on the field to start throwing again?
“We are taking this week off to rest and recover, then next week we are back. We test next week. From there it is growth. We will have a week with the sophomores and juniors lifting, then we bring up the freshmen. This winter and spring we will throw. To play championship football, you have to practice and play in the cold. We will soon start building that faith and trust in each other.”
Aidan, it was great going over your game and offseason plans. Thanks for your time and good luck with your workouts.
Photo credit: Thompson family; Aidan Thompson at ACU and Tulsa (2019)