Chuck Landon: Herd’s Thomson shows he’s healthy
The rumors aren’t true.
New Marshall quarterback Alex Thomson’s throwing shoulder that was injured just two games into the 2017 season isn’t still hurt.
Persistent whispers to the contrary had been making the rounds for the last month.
He proved that wasn’t the case during Marshall’s first preseason practice Friday at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
On one play during a seven-on-seven drill, Thomson fired a bullet right past a defender to redshirt freshman wide receiver Naquan Reynalds.
It wasn’t a throw a quarterback with a bum arm could make.
“I really don’t want to speculate what happened to my shoulder or anything,” said Thomson, after practice.
“I maintained well today and I hope I continue on what I did well today and learn from the mistakes I made.
“It was my first time being out against a live defense since last September, so it was a little weird.
“But I feel like I’m 100 percent. Yes, absolutely.”
He certainly looked 100 percent.
That’s the first thing everybody will notice about Thomson.
He’s tall and rangy and simply looks the way a quarterback is supposed to look.
Thomson is easily the biggest of Marshall’s quarterbacking corps at 6-foot-5 and 233 pounds.
But he’s long and lithe and carries his weight well.
So, go ahead and put a check mark in the appearance box.
But Thomson did more than just look good Friday afternoon.
He also performed well.
Utilizing a very compact motion, Thomson was very fluid with the ball leaving his hand seamlessly.
He showed nice touch on short throws and tosses to receivers coming out of the backfield.
Yet, Thomson also displayed nice zip on his passes when the situation called for it.
Now, did he also miss some throws?
Well, of course he did.
Thomson lobbed a couple of short passes over receivers’ heads and skipped a pass downfield at a wideout’s feet.
But, hey, it was his first practice as a member of the Thundering Herd. And to the Marshall coaching staff’s credit, they treated it as such.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Isaiah Green, who had an impressive spring practice, quarterbacked the first team Friday.
Then, Thomson was the second team quarterback and redshirt sophomore Garet Morrell quarterbacked the third unit.
But all three quarterbacks also were given the opportunity to quarterback the first team for a series of plays.
It made sense.
All in all, it was a good first practice for Thomson.
Not only did he show his right shoulder is healthy, he also showed his feet are pretty darn healthy, too.
On one play during a live 11-on-11 session, Thomson read the defense and ran a keeper to the left and even managed to turn the corner.
The big guy can move.
“If the offense calls for me to read a play,” said Thompson with a smile, “then I’ll read it and make the necessary play.”
Thomson was happy just to be out there Friday.
“I was talking to the quarterbacks,” he said.
“I said, ‘Once you get injured you take a lot for granted.’ I know camp is a long camp, but I missed it every single day when I got hurt. So, I took it all in the first couple of team reps we did. Then, I kind of got back in my rhythm.
“It was a real moment for me.”
Even Thomson’s outlook is healthy.
Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.