FAU quarterback Casey Thompson was granted a medical hardship waiver and will return for a seventh year of eligibility, ESPN reports. Thompson tore his ACL just three games into his first season with the Owls, causing him to miss the rest of the year, but he is expected to be medically cleared before the 2024 campaign begins.
In those three games, Thompson completed 50 of his 79 pass attempts for 509 yards and five touchdowns with five interceptions. All five of his passing touchdowns came in a season-opening blowout win against Monmouth. He transferred to FAU in May, reuniting with former coach Tom Herman -- who recruited him to Texas in 2018.
Thompson has a very unique backstory, involving three different schools, two coaching changes and four coaches total, that could best be summarized as "college football journeyman." He signed with the Longhorns almost six years ago as a three-star prospect out of Newcastle, Oklahoma.
He redshirted in his first year with the program and then played in seven games from 2019-20, with the 2020 season not counting against his eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thompson played in Texas' 2020 Alamo Bowl win against Colorado and tied a bowl record with four passing touchdowns after starter Sam Ehlinger left with injury.
Herman was fired in Jan. 2021, but Thompson elected to stick around and compete for the starting job with new coach Steve Sarkisian taking the program's reins. He initially lost out to Hudson Card, but was promoted after a 41-20 loss to Arkansas in Week 2. Thompson finished the regular season as Texas' starter and compiled a 4-6 record while throwing for 2,113 yards and 24 touchdowns.
Leading up to the 2022 season, Texas received a commitment from Ohio State quarterback transfer and former No. 1 overall prospect Quinn Ewers, which led to Thompson entering the transfer portal. He took his talents to Nebraska under coach Scott Frost and won the starting job, battling through injury to lead the offense in 10 games.
He had an up-and-down year, finishing with 17 touchdowns but throwing at least two interceptions in four different Big Ten contests. Frost was fired three games into the season after a 45-42 loss to Georgia Southern -- a game that Thompson started in -- and Nebraska missed out on a bowl for a sixth straight year.
Thompson once again entered the portal, this time as a graduate, and decided to take his talents to FAU, which hired Herman in Dec. 2022. The Owls finished the 2023 season with a 4-8 record.