5A Co-Offensive Player of the Year: QB Keytaon Thompson, Landry Walker
by Jace LeJeune
This week, we reveal our offensive players of the year from 1A-5A in the entire state on our T.V. show. These players are the best of the best at what they do and they beat out some very tough candidates to win this prestigious honor. If we had to give out 50 trophies to each of the winners, we would but there are so many that you can give out. Throughout the week, we profile the winners on our website and on our Facebook as well as our Twitter pages. At the end of the week, we will put up our honorable mentions for the great players that were also in consideration for these awards. On Wednesday, Louisiana Football Magazine revealed the 1A and 2A Offensive Players of the Year in False River QB Damian Johnson and Ouachita Christian QB Grant Fitzhugh! Yesterday, we revealed the 3A Co-Offensive Players of the Year in Lutcher QB Jontre Kirklin and Erath RB Elijah Mitchell. Today, we reveal the 5A Co-Offensive Player of the Year in Keytaon Thompson!
Landry Walker QB Keytaon Thompson was arguably the most dominant offensive player in the state this past season after the incredible numbers that he put in the regular season and leading that into wins including the Division I state championship against West Monroe. Thompson showed why that he is a future star as a quarterback for years to come. The dual threat quarterback threw for over 3,000 yards and 45 touchdowns, but that was not all. Keytaon Thompson was just as much a threat throwing the football as he was running the football. He also ran for over 1,000 yards and 27 touchdowns to account for over 5,000 total yards and 72 total touchdowns. Not only did he put up some crazy statistics, but he led this team all the way to the state championship. He is one of the few athletes in the state that can dominate in football as well as basketball. In fact, he has also won two more state championships as a shooting guard on the Landry Walker basketball team. Landry Walker Head Coach Emanuel Powell admitted that the team was going to go wherever their quarterback would take them, and he took them all the way to the Promise Land. In his last game as a Chargin’ Buc, Keytaon Thompson saved his best performance for last taking over an entire game against a very good West Monroe defense. He threw for 354 yards, ran for 154 yards, and accounted for six total touchdowns to get the state championship MVP. Louisiana Football Magazine Editor/T.V. Host Lee Brecheen has some high praise for this young quarterback.
“Keytaon Thompson is the most gifted quarterback in the state,” Brecheen said. “Thompson is also an All-State basketball player and a top recruit for basketball. He can reach way above the rim and is probably the best 2 guard to come out of New Orleans in a long time. Keytaon Thompson is a freak athlete at 6-5 230 and what is scary is that he can also run a 4.40. He can be just as good as record breaking Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott, who played at Haughton High School.”
Keytaon Thompson is in fact going to play at Mississippi State as he is already enrolled at the school. He will be coached by Mississippi State Head Coach Dan Mullen, who has already coached great collegiate quarterbacks such as Tim Tebow (Florida), Cam Newton (when he was at Florida), and Dak Prescott (Mississippi State). As a player and a student, he is the perfect player to have. Keytaon Thompson is super athletic, smart, competitive, and is a 4.0 student. The Landry Walker quarterback has a lot of potential in college and SEC defenses should watch for years to come. Unfortunately, Keytaon could not make it for our award show as his offensive coordinator John Johnson represented him. However, we did catch up with the 5A Co-Offensive Player of the Year as he took time to thank everybody for the award and talked about his Landry Walker career as well as enrolling early at Mississippi State in today’s Offensive Player of the Year spotlight!
LAFM: What is your name, age, position, and school you played for?
Keytaon Thompson, 18, QB, Landry Walker
LAFM: What is your height and weight?
LAFM: What is your max bench press, max squat, 40 yard time, and vertical?
Bench: 295; Squat: 365; 40: 4.6; Vertical: 32
LAFM: What are your stats and accomplishments while at Landry Walker?
3 time state champion (1 in football, 2 in basketball); 7 time All-District, 3 time All-Metro, 2 time All-State, 2 time state championship MVP (1 in football, 1 in basketball)
LAFM: You won our 5A Offensive Player of the Year. What was your reaction when you heard the news?
I was very excited when I heard the news and blessed to be chosen for such a great award!
LAFM: You have signed with Mississippi State to play quarterback. What was it about the Bulldogs that has attracted you to play football there?
The atmosphere, the coaches, and the offensive scheme are all reasons that I have signed with Mississippi State.
LAFM: How excited are you to play football under Dan Mullen, who has a reputation of coaching up quarterbacks such as Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, and Dak Prescott?
I’m very excited. Coach Mullen does a great job developing quarterbacks, and I look to come in and follow right behind those guys.
LAFM: Let’s talk about your senior season. Did you ever imagine that you were going to have the type of season that you had and lead Landry Walker to their first state championship since the schools merged?
Actually, I did. Going into the off-season, I couldn’t stop thinking about making it to the Dome, and if we didn’t, it would be a disappointment not only to myself and my teammates, but the entire city, and once we started rolling, we knew we would win it. Also, my quarterback coach/offensive coordinator John Johnson watched clips on past Gatorade players of the year and offensive players of the year, mostly Ryan Perrilloux (former East St. John and LSU quarterback). I believe he had a total of 78 touchdowns his senior year, and I wanted 80, which may seem like a lot, but I was very capable of getting it done. It just takes hard work. I finished with 72 touchdowns, which was eight short of my goal. It was thanks to my defense. I only played in the first half in about seven of our 15 games. Compliments to Coach Powell.
LAFM: When the team was coming on the field, Edna Karr was coming off the field as they just won the 4A state championship and they were cheering your team on. What was that like to experience a rival coming on the field and cheering you guys on?
It was a great experience. It is something you don’t see everyday, and even though these guys are our rivals, we grew up with them. Many of us are like brothers, but that motivated us greatly.
LAFM: Who are some of the teammates that you like to thank for the type of season that you had?
First, I want to thank my entire offensive line. They are the best that I’ve had in my high school years, and they will all be back next year. Besides the o-line, I want to thank Tevin Bush, Davonta Jason, Tyrel Angrum, Mitchell Gordon, Ashton Bowie, Lamont Berzat, Jerry Henry Jr.; and Elvia Payton. Those guys gave me confidence. Sometimes, they believed in me more than I believed in myself. That just keeps me going. We also played for our ex-teammate/brother Mike Lee, who went off to Kansas to make the Freshman All-American team after being ruled ineligible. We played for him, and we all feed off of each other.
LAFM: What are the biggest strengths to your game?
I think the biggest strength to my game is my ability to make things happen. Even when the defense is in perfect position and has done everything right, I still find a way for us to win that play.
LAFM: What are some things that you need to work on when you get to Mississippi State?
Sometimes, I think I need to work is just putting more spin on the ball.
LAFM: What played in your decision to enroll early at Mississippi State?
Being able to compete, go through spring ball, and an off-season before my actual first season are reasons why I decided to enroll early. I feel like it just gives me an advantage.
LAFM: What was your best game while at Landry Walker and why was that your best game?
That’s a tough one, but to have a senior season like I had this year, I had to have a lot of great games. With that being said, I can’t choose one, but I’ll give you my favorite four in no particular order. The first was against Edna Karr in my junior year. We were losing going into halftime by two touchdowns. The crowd turned on us and we were all that we had. I never blinked and I knew the 2nd half would be a showdown. We came together and it took a heroic performance from myself to get us the lead, and then I went on to play defense and stop the team from scoring to take the lead at the end of the game after they scored and got an onside kick. The 2nd game was against Byrd in my junior year in the 2nd round of the playoffs. We were the obvious underdogs and playing six hours from home with virtually no fans compared to their fanbase. Everything about that game said that we should lose, but we came together and gave them everything they had and won the game in a shootout. Next was the 3rd round of the playoffs in my senior year. They jumped out 14-0 in the first quarter making it look easy but losing never crossed my mind. We fought back. I scored seven touchdowns and ended up winning 61-21. Last but not least, the state championship game. Going against the powerhouse in West Monroe, playing on the biggest state with the best turf and the brightest lights in front of an entire city, and aside from the six touchdowns, 300+ yards, MVP, and a win, the atmosphere speaks for itself.
LAFM: You are also a great basketball player and could have also played basketball in college. What made you choose the sport of football over basketball?
I love both sports, but I’ve always wanted to play in the NFL and never really desired to play in the NBA.
LAFM: Is there any advice that you like to give to next year’s Landry Walker team?
They have the blueprint. Our team was pretty young and they know how to win it so they just have to keep it going.
LAFM: What do you like to do when your football career is over?
I would like to maybe coach high school football or start camps for the youth, but I don’t see myself just totally leaving the game.
LAFM: Who is the college or NFL quarterback that you model your game after?
I model my game after Cam Newton (former Auburn quarterback currently with the Carolina Panthers). He is just so exciting to watch, and I believe that we have a lot of the same abilities and also have a similar style of play.
LAFM: Why should Mississippi State fans be excited to have you on their football team?
Mississippi State fans should be excited because I am a winner. I’ll do whatever it takes to win and I’ll give the program everything that I have.
LAFM: Since you could not come to our award show, this is your chance to acknowledge everybody for the award. Who are the people in your life that you have to thank for receiving the award?
I would lie to thank God first and foremost. I want to thank my parents, coaches, and everyone who believed in me, and last but not least, I would like to thank LA Football Magazine for selecting me for this prestigious award.
Note: We also want to recognize the other offensive winners who won this year that were either underclassmen or have done an earlier article on this year. Our 4A Offensive Player of the Year is St. Thomas More QB Nate Cox after passing for almost 4,000 yards and 48 touchdowns as well as leading the St. Thomas More Cougars to their first ever state championship win. The player that tied with Keytaon Thompson for 5A Offensive Player of the Year is Scotlandville QB and Louisiana Lafayette signee Levi Lewis. Lewis accounted for over 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns and led the Hornets to their first state championship appearance in over 40 years. We also recognized the offensive line in our “In the Trenches Award” between a senior and a sophomore. Jesuit OT Corey Dublin and Southern Lab OG/OT Kardell Thomas were recognized as the best at their position this season!