Sac State QB Thomson has injury-riddled career revived

The running joke around the Sacramento State football facility is that his fellow Hornets will have to start calling Sac State’s veteran quarterback “Doctor Thomson”.

“By the time I get out of here, I will have my master’s degree so I’ll be sort of close,” Kevin Thomson said with a laugh during an interview on Tootell and Nuanez on 102.9 FM ESPN Missoula the first week of October.

“It’s been a bit of a different journey than most but one that I’m incredibly thankful for.”

Teammates might joke about Thomson and a college career that will have lasted seven seasons by the time his eligibility runs out. He earned his undergraduate degree in communications in the spring. He is now tackling Sac State’s educational technology master’s program with hopes of becoming a high school or college administrator.

Teammates might playfully call him doctor. But the fact is, Thomson has needed a doctor more often than not since gradating high school in the spring of 2014.

Back in the fall of 2013, Thomson was a senior at Riverside High School in Auburn, Washington playing his final varsity season. Four games into a campaign that would see him earn league Offensive Player of the Year honors by throwing for 2,132 yards and 24 touchdowns, Thomson first heard from Bobby Hauck.

Sacramento State quarterback Kevin Thomson (5) in 2018/by Jason Bacaj

At the time, Hauck was in his fourth season as the head coach at UNLV. He and Timm Rosenbach, who are back at Montana for a second season together, identified Thomson as a dual-threat with potential. The Rebels ended up landing a commitment from Thomson later that fall, beating out Idaho and New Mexico State for his services.

“It was great getting to meet and get to know Coach Hauck,” Thomson said. “I’m very appreciative of him and Coach Rosenbach for giving me the opportunity to have a shot at playing college football.

“I had no idea what my future with football was going to be going into my senior season. I was just focused on having fun and trying to win but they called me out of the blue and offered me a scholarship. I’m forever going to be thankful for Coach Hauck for giving me that chance. That opportunity put me in the position I’m in today.”

Thomson redshirted in 2014 and hoped to be in the quarterback competition the last season, which turned out to be Hauck’s final as the head coach in Las Vegas.

Heading into his second year, a constant, searing pain plagued Thomson’s throwing (right) arm. The pain resulting in the redshirt freshman having Tommy John surgery, a serious and potentially career-threatening procedure usually associated with baseball rather than football.

He had the operation on September 2 of 2015, his birthday. Following the 2015 season, Hauck took the special teams coordinator job at San Diego State on head coach Rocky Long’s staff. Thomson, not yet healthy, did not return to UNLV in the fall of 2016. For a brief moment, he contemplated never playing football again.

Former Sac State offensive coordinator Paul Wulff — the head at Eastern Washington for 2000 until 2007 and Washington State from 2008 through 2011 — called Thomson out of the blue.


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