NORMAN — When sophomore Kendal Thompson fractured his foot on the first day of Oklahoma's preseason practices, he and his dad understood what that probably meant for his chances to ever be the Sooners' starting quarterback.
“It was just not a good time to have an injury,” Charles Thompson told The Oklahoman in a Wednesday telephone interview. “Just bad timing. It's kinda like being in golf. Unless things on the leaderboard fall back to you, you don't have a chance down the stretch.
“But I kinda feel like they have fallen back to him.”
Redshirt freshman Trevor Knight started the first two games before being replaced by junior Blake Bell, who has been the Sooners' starting quarterback ever since. Both signal callers have displayed flashes of their potential, but they have also been inconsistent.
Kendal Thompson returned to practice in mid-September but has yet to see the field. And after Oklahoma's 41-12 loss at Baylor last Thursday — when Bell and the OU offense struggled mightily to do much of anything — Charles called into a local radio station to say his son should get a shot.
He insisted that when he expresses his opinion, it's as a former player and fan who loves the program — and not necessarily as Kendal's dad.
While some have criticized his postgame radio call-in, Charles Thompson pointed out that he's worked in local sports radio in some capacity for the past several years. He currently hosts a mid-morning radio show that airs on Lawton's 93.7 FM and AM 1050.
“I find it odd that people would take issue with me speaking or calling in on the postgame when I've done that many times,” Charles said. “I've loved this program since I was 6-years old. I played for this program. All I want at the end of the day is to see the program return back to elite status.
“I don't care if Kendal's the quarterback or not. I want to see OU be an elite program. I want to see us win on the big stage, continue to be feared and intimidated like Alabama.”
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said he's not going to experiment with another new quarterback after nine games have been played.
“It's no one's fault that he was injured, and he missed 40 practices to start the year,” Stoops said.
Co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said the timing of Kendal Thompson's injury was unfortunate because it has made it tough for him to get many practice snaps.
“It's difficult to get three different guys ready and give them the amount of reps that they need to improve and be ready,” Norvell said. “That's the tricky part of it.”
Charles Thompson said that — based on the inconsistent performance he's seen from Bell and Knight — he doesn't understand why Kendal wouldn't at least get an opportunity to show what he can do “when the band's playing.”
“At the end of the day, I don't care how good somebody is doing in practice, sometimes it simply comes down to that,” he said. “What can you do when the band's playing?
“You look at Johnny Manziel. Kevin Sumlin has openly admitted that if you go just by practice alone, he probably wouldn't have given Manziel the opportunity he ultimately ended up taking advantage of.
“I don't want this to come off like I'm ripping Bob and those guys. At the end of the day, the coaches make the decisions of who they want to put on the field. Whether I agree with them or not, Bob Stoops has had a great amount of success.”