The year 2020 was a memorable one for all the wrong reasons. COVID-19 was to blame, and it was tough for just about everyone. However, when it came to football the show went on this past football season.
Some teams were affected more than others of course but that didn’t mean each team shared their fair share of struggles whether it was mentally or physically. Perhaps no other team in the Big 12 had a roller coaster season like the Kansas State Wildcats.
Despite losing to Arkansas State in week one, Kansas State opened the Big 12 season going 4-0 including wins over Oklahoma, Texas Tech, TCU, and Kansas. However, during that stretch fifth year senior quarterback Skylar Thompson was injured with a shoulder injury and would miss the rest of the 2020 season.
Backups Will Howard and Nick Ast would fill in Skylar’s spot, but it was not the same and just as quickly as Kansas State started 4-0 in Big 12 play, they dropped their final five games of the season. When the 2020 season was over, the Wildcats finished with a 4-6 record.
2021 may be a new year but there are some things that haven’t changed. COVID-19 is still hanging around but on a more positive note, so is Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson. He will be returning for his sixth season and is currently still rehabbing his injury.
However, there will be another change for the Kansas State quarterback as he announced this past week that he will be changing his jersey number from number ten to number seven. Why? “I was just a football fan when I was young. I loved watching good football,” Thompson said in a social media post put out by the Kansas State football program. “And being from the Midwest, I always watched the Big 12. And I remember, Coach Klein just lightening it up and he was on Sports Illustrated, I had a subscription at that time where I got those every week in my house. And I remember seeing Coach Klein on the front of the magazine and being a Heisman finalist and all the things that he accomplished here. I looked up to that. And it truly is a big reason why I play this game and play for this university.
Collin Klein is not the only Kansas State great to wear the number seven as Michael Bishop also wore the same number back in the late 90’s. “Number seven to me reminds me of being a little kid and loving the game of football,” Thompson said. “I got introduced to this game when I was really little and fell in love with it, so when I see the number seven, that’s the first thing I think of. I think of being a little kid and playing with my childhood best friends and making those memories. And that’s the first thing that comes to mind. And it reminds me of where I came from, how much I’ve grown and how much I’ve accomplished.”
While Skylar Thompson seems to have a special spot in the heart of Kansas State fans, he made it clear that he is not switching numbers to associate himself with the greatness of Bishop and Klein, but the number is special for him, as well as the Kansas State football program. “I’m not going sit here and say, I’m going to be Michael Bishop or be Collin Klein, but I will say that I look up to them both and their legacies here at Kansas State, and, for me, I want to write my own legacy for the number seven, Thompson said. “I’m going to carry that number with a lot of pride, a lot of honor. And I’m going to play with a lot of passion and represent it the right way.”
Of course, we will have to wait until fall practice to see the new number for Skylar Thompson as he is still rehabbing his injury. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to step out there with my teammates. I think that was the biggest thing that I missed the most sitting out this year; being there with my guys, it’s going to be a special moment. I’m really looking forward to it and I’ll be ready for the opportunity.”
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