NORMAN, Okla. -- Tired of waiting for another chance at
quarterback for Oklahoma, Paul Thompson is moving to wide receiver.
The fourth-year junior who beat out redshirt freshman Rhett
Bomar to become Oklahoma's starter at the beginning of the season
hasn't seen any playing time since Bomar became the starter two
"I didn't want to sit around anymore," Thompson said after
practice Monday night. "I don't want to just be sitting around.
I'd like to be on the field somehow."
Coach Bob Stoops said Thompson will remain the backup
quarterback for the Sooners (1-2), who are off to their worst start
since 1999 after consecutive appearances in the BCS title game. He
was the backup to Nate Hybl in Oklahoma's 2002 Rose Bowl season,
then waited behind Jason White for two years.
It appeared Thompson would finally get his chance to start when
he won the job before the season opener against TCU. He had 109
yards on 11-for-26 passing as the Sooners lost 17-10.
Stoops switched to Bomar, and Thompson remained on the sidelines
as Bomar passed for only 42 yards in his debut against Tulsa in
Week 2 and didn't throw a pass in the second half. Bomar fumbled
four times in Oklahoma's 41-24 loss to UCLA on Saturday, but
coaches still didn't call on Thompson.
"Anybody that works hard and puts time and effort and
dedication toward something and doesn't seem like they're getting
anywhere, it's frustrating at times," Thompson said.
"At the same time, the coaches understand that. It's nothing
against the coaches. They're working with 100 kids out here -- 100
grown men, actually -- and it's not like I'm the only one that's
been in this position."
When White returned for a sixth season after winning the 2003
Heisman Trophy, Thompson took a redshirt last season.
"This is my fourth year. I've got to get out on the field,"
Thompson said. "I've got to make some plays."
Thompson, who played some wide receiver his freshman and
sophomore years at Leander High School in Texas, said he is willing
to put in extra time before and after practice if need be.
Offensive coordinator Chuck Long said Thompson will still get
the same number of practice repetitions at quarterback, and will
add the time at receiver on top of that. Long said Thompson won't
have to spend extra time watching film because the quarterbacks and
receivers generally watch the same tape.
"As a quarterback, he's got to know all the routes. As a
receiver, you just have to know that one route. So, he knows the
routes," Long said. "It's just a matter of learning the physical
nuances of running a route. But mentally, that's going to be pretty
easy for him. He knows what to do."
Thompson said he was more nervous about his first practice as a
receiver Monday than he was for his first start at quarterback.
"I wanted to make a good impression and come out here and be
successful," Thompson said.
The Sooners have a bye this week before playing Kansas State in
their Big 12 opener on Oct. 1.