McGill-Toolen (Mobile, Ala.) is 8-0, ranked No. 5 in the Super 25 and hoping to repeat as 7A state champion.
The Yellowjackets returned 12 starters this season, but were without quarterback Paris Chambers, a 7A all-state player a year ago, and were turning the offense over to Bubba Thompson.
There was not doubt about his athletic ability, but he had been hampered by injuries and was tall and lean at 6-2 and 165 pounds.
But he added 15-20 pounds in the offseason and showed his leadership in helping McGill-Toolen win the USA Football National 7on7 event in Hoover, Ala. And the results have been impressive: He has completed 74% of his passes for 1,665 yards and 22 touchdowns with just two interceptions. He has added three rushing touchdowns with 251 yards on 23 carries.
McGill-Toolen has not had to make many adjustments with Thompson running the show.
“We have the same fast offense,” Thompson says.
An all-state outfielder, Thompson committed to Auburn in April to play baseball. He hit.469 with 39 runs scored, 19 stolen bases, 11 doubles and eight triples, according to AL.com.
But the possibility remains for him to play both sports as his play as a senior is attracting more interest, including an offer from Tennessee this week after visiting last weekend. That is his first SEC offer to go with football offers from Western Kentucky, Central Florida and Troy. Other schools also are beginning to get involved.
Thompson told USA TODAY High School Sports this summer that, “My focus is on football right now … I’ll decide my senior year. I don’t really know where I’m going to go, though obviously I’ve committed to Auburn for baseball.”
McGill-Toolen closes the regular season at Theodore and at Fairhope before the playoffs begin.
USA TODAY High School Sports caught up with Thompson this week for a Twitter interview.
Q: What were your expectations going into this season?
A: I just wanted to give my team the best chance to win another state championship.
Q: What has been the key to the team’s success thus far?
A: It comes down to the hard work that my coaches put in and all the hard work me and my team put in on the front end.
Q: How much impact did the team’s performance at the national 7 on 7 event have on getting together and getting off to a good start?
A: It was a chance to build good chemistry with my receivers and show I can lead the team. (I wanred to) have their trust and be a leader
Q. Going guess that Bubba isn’t your given name. How did you become Bubba?
A: I get it from my dad (who also goes by Bubba Thompson). It was passed down to me. My real name is Leslie,
Q: Obviously, you have a college baseball career ahead of you. How do you balance football and baseball, especially given the offseason demands?
A: My football coaches in the offseason really worked around my baseball schedule for me to be able to make it to the important events that I needed to go to for football.