In the wake of former starter Quinten Dormady’s decision to transfer away from the program, Tennessee offensive coordinator Tyson Helton has reportedly reached out to Wagner (FCS) quarterback Alex Thomson, according to Yahoo Sports‘ Pete Thamel.
Wagner (6-foot-5, 225 pounds) is scheduled to graduate this spring and would be eligible to play during the 2018 season.
According to the report, which describes him as “the most intriguing graduate transfer quarterback in college football,” Thomson was granted his release from Wagner last week and has already received interest from Florida International, Iowa State and Oregon State.
The Vols could blueshirt Thompson, which would prevent him from taking an official visit to UT’s campus and would keep head coach Jeremy Pruitt from using a non-official visit. The quarterback would be placed on scholarship as soon as the first day of preseason practice, which would provide Tennessee the option to count him toward its 2019 recruiting class, rather than use another spot for its 2018 class.
Despite being under-recruited out of high school and playing in the FCS, many believe Thomson has the potential to be an NFL prospect, including former Super Bowl-winning quarterback Phil Simms.
“He can play at any level,” Simms said, according to Thamel. “There’s no question. If things fall right [with his college situation], I definitely think he’s a pro prospect. I don’t even have to hesitate to say that.”
San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello, Thomson’s former offensive coordinator at Wagner, also believes the New Jersey native has the potential to play at the professional level.
“I think he’s an NFL quarterback,” Scangarello told Thamel. “I have no doubt about it. He’s athletic, smart and tough, and he’s just scratching the surface as a player. He’s as good as the back-up quarterbacks in the NFL right now. I really believe that. He’s legit.
“If I was the offensive coordinator at Alabama, I’d want him to be my quarterback. I’d take him anywhere. I’m going to draft the guy someday. He’s legit. He can play anywhere.”
Thomson will be a fifth-year senior in 2018, but is expected to have two remaining years of eligibility after sitting out his freshman year due to an injury and having a high chance of receiving a waiver for an additional season, according to the report.