Dylan Thompson trains with quarterback guru

Summer sessions offer fuel for fall playing time

Spartanburg Herald-JournalJuly 23, 2013 

USC quarterback Dylan Thompson

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com

South Carolina quarterback Dylan Thompson went on a trip to Ohio this past weekend.

The former Boiling Springs standout went with his brother Daniel to work out with quarterback guru George Whitfield Jr.

Whitfield has worked with the likes of Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck and Johnny Manziel.

When Thompson was offered the chance to work with Whitfield, he couldn’t pass it up.

“The opportunity came up that both of us could meet him in Ohio. With him being from San Diego, it worked out that we could meet up there and get some good work in for a few days and really just learn,” Thompson said.

Whitfield knew of Thompson from working with other quarterbacks who were friends with the redshirt junior.

Whitfield called Thompson in February, but the two had been unable to find a time that worked for both of them until now.

The NCAA forbids him to train with USC coach Steve Spurrier and quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus during the offseason.

“I think I have the two best quarterback coaches in America with coach Spurrier and coach Mangus,” Thompson said. “It wasn’t one of those things to where I’m not getting coached, so let me go see that guy. It was more like I just can’t work with them in the summer, so I just want to get coached more.”

Thompson said Whitfield stressed the importance of being accurate with his throws during their five sessions.

“Whether it’s 5 yards down the field or 40 yards down the field, I need to try to just be as accurate as possible,” Thompson said.

He also said Whitfield worked hard on nailing down footwork.

“He really helped simplify some things, and that helped a good bit,” Thompson said. “I’m glad I made the trip, and I think Daniel feels the same way.”

In addition to meeting with Whitfield, Thompson has worked with his receiving corps throughout the summer to prepare for the upcoming season.

Unlike last preseason, Thompson has been told by the coaching staff to expect snaps this year as he splits time with Connor Shaw.

“I think the biggest thing about this season is that I’m playing, and I have to get ready. That motivates you some more, the fact that you know you’re going to get those reps,” Thompson said. “I’ve personally never been this ready for a season I don’t think in my life.”

Thompson has no doubt the two-quarterback system can work for the Gamecocks.

“My goal is to give them no choice but to play me, and I know that’s Connor’s goal,” Thompson said. “I think people have seen that you need more than one quarterback, more than one running back, more than one go-to receiver if you really want to be successful.”

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