Jack Thompson (American football)

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For other people with the same name, see Jack Thompson (disambiguation).
Jack Thompson
No. 14
Position: Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1956-05-19) May 19, 1956 (age 60)
Place of birth: Tutuila, American Samoa
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight: 217 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school: Evergreen (WA)
College: Washington State
NFL Draft: 1979 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Pass attempts: 845
Pass completions: 449
Percentage: 53.1
TD-INT: 33-45
Passing yards: 5,315
QB rating: 63.4
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Jack Byron Thompson (born May 18, 1956) is a former professional football player, a quarterback in the National Football League. Known as "The Throwin' Samoan," a nickname bestowed on him by Spokesman-Review columnist Harry Missildine during Thompson's breakout sophomore season at Washington State University in 1976, he was a first-round draft choice of the Cincinnati Bengals in 1979 and played for Cincinnati from 1979-82. Considered by ESPN to be a bust of a draft pick (#26 worst - fellow WSU grad Ryan Leaf is considered #1),[1] he went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1983 and became the team's starting quarterback, but was replaced the following year by Steve DeBerg.

Thompson went to college at Washington State University, where he set numerous school, Pac-10 and NCAA records. He finished ninth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy in 1978. His prowess led the Bengals to make him the third overall pick in the 1979 NFL Draft.

He concluded his college career in 1978 as the most prolific passer in NCAA history, throwing for 7,818 yards. He set Pac-10 records for attempts, completions and TD passes. He was all-conference three times and either first-team, second-team or honorable mention All-American three times. He is one of only two players in WSU history to have his number retired (the other is Pro Football Hall of Famer Mel Hein). Thompson wore No. 14 and graduated from Evergreen High School south of Seattle.

  • 1976: 208/355 for 2,762 yards with 20 TD vs 14 INT.
  • 1977: 192/329 for 2,372 yards with 13 TD vs 13 INT.
  • 1978: 175/348 for 2,333 yards with 17 TD vs 20 INT.

After his football career, Thompson settled in Seattle and became a mortgage banker, as well as a volunteer quarterbacks coach at Ballard High School. His son Tony, a tight end, followed in his dad's footsteps in suiting up at Washington State, and a nephew, Tavita Pritchard, was a quarterback at Stanford University.


Cousin Young Thompson played for Arizona State as Defensive Tackle.

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