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Live Charting: SI99 QB Ty Thompson

SI All-American charted the future Oregon QB's game vs. Tempe (Ariz.) Marcos De Niza HS this past Friday night with an analytics approach

SI All-American was on the road yet again this past Friday, including in Arizona to check out quarterback Ty Thompson of Gilbert (Ariz.) Mesquite High School. 

An Oregon commit, Thompson is No. 29 in the SI99 and the nation's No. 4 quarterback prospect. He strongly caught our eye earlier this year after studying him on tape, and went on to impress our staff in person at the Elite 11 Finals. This trip to see the big-framed field general was highly anticipated, and Thompson did not disappoint.

Among the most important aspects to evaluating a quarterback prospect live is keenly watching their body language and demeanor, as well as how they are with teammates. Thompson consistently displayed a workman-like demeanor with a quiet and confident focus. His teammates certainly respected him, and he calmly communicated with them and his coaches on the sideline in between drives.

Instead of proceeding with our standard evaluation notes, we decided to take a more analytics-based approach in reviewing Thompson's performance against Tempe (Ariz.) Marcos De Niza.

Overview

Mesquite ran 70 plays against the Padres, with Thompson working from the shotgun exclusively. We charted 11 total drives for him and the Wildcats' offense, which featured 10 and 11 personnel from 2x2 and 3x1 sets.

Blitz Production

Another astonishing statistic from this game is the fact that Thompson was blitzed 100% of the time. Speaking with the defensive coordinator at Marcos De Niza after the game, it was felt that if they played coverage and sat back in zone concepts against the future Duck, they would have put themselves at a disadvantage due to Thompson's mental processing in the pocket. Thus, they schemed up pressures each snap to force Thompson to complete accurate throws at a high clip, with an emphasis on the A-gap. SI All-American charted 6 sacks for the Padres on Thompson. When divided by the 70 total snaps he had during the game, that brings a low "blitz success rate" of 0.0857. Take the sack total and divide by the 44 passing attempts Thompson had, and it equals 0.1363 rating. Thompson had 190 yards passing in the 1st quarter.

"It was a lot of A-gap pressure. They also blitzed the edges when we'd have some rollout tendencies and concepts. If it was a rollout situation, they'd blitz from the edge on us," Thompson told SI after the game.

2nd Reactions

Throughout this 2021 cycle, you've read often how much emphasis SI All-American places on QB prospects to be capable of producing in the reactionary phase of plays, or "second reactions", as well as being able to perform off-platform throws. At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, Thompson has a big frame. Oftentimes, passers at his size prefer to sit at the apex of their midline and pitch. Most QB's see their effectiveness and production decline when they can not deliver on schedule. We charted Thompson being forced into second reactions only 7 times on Friday night, which is impressive when you remember he was blitzed literally every snap. Take 7 and divide it by 44 (passing attempts on the night for Thompson), and it shows that Thompson was only forced off his launch point 15.9% of the time, showing that he's willing to hang tough in the pocket. However, even more impressive, this statistically shows what our eyes told us on Friday night: Thompson can process his hot reads and quickly deliver the ball to them vs. the blitz.

"I saw my hot reads. It was a mix of both. When they bring pressure like that, it's just better to get the ball out of your hands quicker," Thompson said. "On the sacks I took, I knew they were coming. I knew my running back had to pick it up, or our offensive tackles had to make a good play to get out there. They just beat our guy on those."

+ Throws & Shot Plays

SI All-American has felt one of Thompson's elite traits is his arm strength. We came into the game eager to see shot plays schemed up by Mesquite's coaching staff, along with an emphasis in the vertical and mid-range passing game. This led us to charting what will be termed as "+ Throws," which are passes that traveled a minimum of 15 yards in the air from Thompson's hand to his intended target. We tallied 19 of his attempts in this specific category, with Thompson completing 11 of them for an impressive 58% completion percentage in this mark. Thompson hit a beautiful throw on a sail route on the first drive, and also placed a sheer dime over two Marcos De Niza defensive backs on a vertical throw outside the numbers, among other impressive passes during the game. He averaged 107.75 yards passing per quarter in the game.

Thompson to SI All-American after the game; "I think I hit three deep passes (in the vertical passing game). I wanted to get the ball out to my guys when they won their matchups."

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Coverage Rotation Recognition

After speaking with the Padres' staff after the game, they informed that they played mostly Cover-1 concepts with a single high defender in the first half. To adjust at halftime, they came out in 2-man concepts in the final 2 quarters. Throughout the game, SI All-American tallied 3 times where Thompson visibly audibled and 7 times where the Padres rotated and spun their secondary late before the snap in an attempt to disguise and confuse Thompson. Again, factor in his consistent ability to see his hot reads from only being forced into 7 second reactions, and it’s clear Thompson had a solid night from a mental processing standpoint. His second-reaction force rate was just 11%, meaning for every 10 plays Thompson was blitzed, he was only bothered once.

Drops, Misc.

Thompson completed 25 of 44 attempts for 431 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT on Friday. His completion percentage for the night checked in at just under 57%, yet he was the subject of 7 drops by his receivers that SI All-American counted on the night. He also rushed for a TD, bringing his total to 4 scores on the night. Over 11 total drives/possessions, Thompson’s TD responsibility percentage was at a 36.36% clip.

We also spoke to a number of Gilbert Mesquite High School personnel about Thompson’s character. Each of them spoke about him in high regard and esteem, describing a humble and fairly quiet personality that has not changed at all since he’s garnered national attention.

“The coaches at Oregon are all about getting players that are good people. They really want good kids there”, Thompson said. 

Conclusion

It was an impressive night for Thompson. He showed mental processing, pocket toughness, athleticism, arm strength and ball-placement skills. The Arizona native is not just a thrower - he’s a true passer and ball-distributor with good lower-body athleticism and strength. Thompson will easily stay in the SI99 and Top-5 in the QB rankings.

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