‘See you in September’: Skylar Thompson to return for 2021 season

Quarterback Skylar Thompson runs out onto the field before the football game against Nicholls State in Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Aug. 31, 2019. The Wildcats took the Colonels 49-14. (Archive Photo by Logan Wassall | Collegian Media Group)

It’s official — senior quarterback Skylar Thompson will return for another season with the Wildcats. After the NCAA granted one extra year of eligibility for Division I fall athletes, Thompson was left with a decision, to stay or go, and he decided to stay.

On Sunday morning, Thompson made his announcement via social media.

“First and foremost, I want to thank my family, friends, coaches and teammates for the love and support they’ve given me throughout my career,” Thompson said. “Words cannot express the gratitude I have for you, and it’s a blessing to call you family,”

Thompson’s senior year was cut short after he went down with an upper-body injury in the Wildcats’ 31-21 victory over Texas Tech in early October. True freshman Will Howard replaced Thompson for the rest of the year, putting Thompson’s future with K-State in question.

“Although the past couple of months have been very challenging, I’m thankful for having gone through this process,” Thompson continued. “It has given me the opportunity to learn, see the game from a different perspective, and it has opened my eyes to many other blessings in my life. God’s plan is far greater than my understanding, and I trust in that with all my heart.”

That experience, Thompson said, “lit a fire inside of him.”

“I believe in coach Klieman and what we are doing here, and I want to be a part of it. Kansas State University means a lot to me, and I am ready to give it my all for one more season in front of the best fans in the country,” he said. “See you in September.”

Thompson sits at seventh in school history in passing yards (5,041), tied for seventh in passing touchdowns (29), fifth in rushing yards by a quarterback (1,083) and is one of just two quarterbacks in school history to pass for 5,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards as well.

Thompson joins other quarterbacks in freshman Will Howard and incoming four-star recruit Jake Rubley. Junior Nick Ast was on the roster until Rubley signed his letter of intent to K-State. Ast has since entered the transfer portal.

Not all of the senior Wildcats will be returning next season. Some announced that they will not be returning, while others have announced that they plan to prepare for the upcoming 2021 NFL draft.

Tight end Briley Moore, linebacker Justin Hughes, running back Harry Trotter and defensive end Wyatt Hubert are all foregoing next year’s season to prepare for the NFL draft.

K-State also has had multiple players enter the transfer portal this year, most recently senior wide receiver Wykeen Gill and sophomore defensive back Lance Robinson. So far, the Wildcats have had 12 players enter the transfer portal — the most in the Big 12 Conference.

K-State removed itself from bowl consideration after recent COVID-19 testing and contact tracing forced the program to put a pause on all team activities. The Wildcats plan to hit the field again on Sept. 4 when they host Stanford inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium.