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Defending 5A State Champion QB Signs with Bengals
Keegan Thompson announced he would don the Orange and Black following his LDS mission
Published: 12/19/2019 11:48:30 AM
Robert Reeve
Staff Writer

Fresh off a championship title in which he led his team back from the brink of defeat, Rigby quarterback Keegan Thompson announced he would continue his football journey at Idaho State University.

On National Signing Day, Thompson made public his commitment to play for the Bengals in Pocatello, one of many high-profile signings across the state Wednesday.

Thompson led the Trojans to a 10-1 record in 2019, redeeming a Week 1 loss to Coeur d’Alene with a double-overtime championship victory over the Vikings to end the season. In that gutsy performance, Thompson threw for 411 yards and six touchdowns, finishing the year with 1,858 passing yards and 24 touchdowns and 152 carries for 1,364 yards rushing, giving the Bengals a true dual-threat option under center.   

"Keegan is a great leader and teammates love playing for him,” said Rigby offensive coordinator Aaron Flowers. “He will wreak havoc on defenses, because you can have kids who can run better than throw and others who throw better than run, but he can do both equally well. When you look at our season as a whole, Keegan was the dominant factor in our offense."

According to the 6-foot-5 quarterback, the visit to the Pocatello campus was all it took to cement his decision and don the Orange and Black heading into 2022 following his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"I took an official visit there and really liked the atmosphere and loved the coaches,” Thompson said. “After sitting down and watching film with them and going over the things that they run, I thought I’d fit really well in their offense."

Rigby High School sits just an hour northeast of Idaho State. Thompson cited the close proximity to his hometown as another reason he chose Idaho State. 

"I think being able to have my family come and support me and watch my games will be huge,” he said. “They are a big reason why I play." 

Rigby head coach Armando Gonzalez credited Thompson’s dual-threat abilities to the success of the Trojans, as his knack for stretching the field and keeping secondaries guessing helped open up the playbook for some of Rigby’s other offensive stars like running back Brigham Youngstrom. 

"He helped us to raise the level of play here and now gets to compete at the next level,” Gonzales said. “He’s such a good young man, he is respected and well-liked and grew into that leadership role, especially this last year.“

Thompson wasn’t the only Idaho high school product to commit to the Bengals. Century receiver Drew Gunter and defensive lineman DeQua Lang, along with Highland defensive end Kamiah Olsen will appear under the Holt Arena lights next season for Idaho State. 

"I think what (Idaho State head coach Rob) Phenicie is trying to do there is great, trying to recruit Idaho well and bring in local kids that are high caliber,” Gonzales said. “He fit that mold and is the type of quarterback that fits in their system. He will be well-prepared in their system which is similar to ours.”
Idaho State finished 2019 with a 3-9 record. The Bengals currently have five quarterbacks listed on their roster, including senior Coeur d’Alene graduate Gunnar Amos and freshman Centennial graduate Dayne Koch.

"It’s huge to get local kids who want to be here come and play for us,” Phenicie said. “Keegan has been extremely well-coached and comes from a system similar to ours. He’s got all the tools that you need. He's a complete quarterback, he has leadership qualities and he can run and throw. It’s exciting to see what he will do."

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