Delton and Thompson1

Skylar Thompson, left, and Alex Delton swapped the starting quarterback role at Kansas State numerous times over the second half of the 2017 season and into last fall. Now, Thompson is the unquestioned leader for the Wildcats. Delton was named TCU’s top signal-caller Tuesday.

Skylar Thompson left little doubt how he feels about Alex Delton on Tuesday. Twice in the span of a single answer, Thompson reiterated his stance on Delton, his former teammate at Kansas State, winning the starting quarterback job at TCU.

I wish him nothing but the best.

As a graduate transfer, Delton was eligible to play immediately and joined TCU earlier this year, going through spring practice with the team. Tuesday’s announcement by TCU head coach Gary Patterson showed that early arrival paid dividends.

Thompson couldn’t be happier.

“I’m so excited for him, so excited for him,” Thompson told The Mercury. “He deserves it. He got into a program the caliber of TCU, and to be able to step in and win that job, I’m so, so happy for him. Honestly, his time here at K-State, I know he had some bumps in the road and some difficult times, too.”

Delton’s hardships that Thompson alluded to weren’t only physical. Yes, Delton dealt with his fair share of pain at K-State — he redshirted as a freshman in 2015 after injuring his knee in the second game of the season, went through multiple injuries in 2017 after becoming the starter in midseason with Jesse Ertz out and then fought through more ailments last fall. But he, like Thompson, had to contend with the weekly yo-yo battle at quarterback in 2018.

At Big 12 Media Days last month, Thompson detailed the toll it took on both of them mentally. They spoke about the ongoing — and seemingly endless — competition the night before every game.

Eventually, the strain became almost too much to bear.

“We just got to the point where we were like, ‘Man, I just wish one of us would just get it, and then I’ll have to live with it,’ because it was draining and tiring for us to rotate and go through all that,” Thompson said. “It’s hard on both on us.”

Now, Thompson is focused on the future — and a certain matchup Oct. 19, when Delton and the Horned Frogs visit Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

“It’s going to be cool to get to play against him,” Thompson said. “There’ll be a lot of hype around that game. I just want him to be successful. I wish nothing but the best for him. He’s a great guy. He’s going to do great things down there.”

That’s what Patterson expects — and told reporters as much Monday prior to officially naming Delton the starter.

“Since he’s been here, he’s been a great team member,” Patterson said. “It’s been a blessing having him here to run the offense and also be a great role model of how to prepare to get ready for a ballgame from an older standpoint with younger quarterbacks.”

Delton himself spoke with media members Tuesday, just before Patterson revealed the news. As he embarks on the final season of his college career, Delton said he feels “better than I ever have.” In large part, he said, it’s because of the work he put in earlier this year.

“Spring was kind of my trial run with the offense and everything,” Delton said, per The Dallas Morning News. “To see myself progress from then to the fall, I feel extremely comfortable with what we’re trying to accomplish ... we feel like we can execute at a high level.”

Since Delton departed, Thompson said they’ve “chatted a little bit,” particularly during the summer. But with both trying to entrench themselves in leadership roles on their respective teams, Thompson conceded Delton stays in closer contact with other Wildcats. That they’re not conversing constantly isn’t important, Thompson said.

What matters is they made their thoughts clear long ago.

“He knows where I stand and I know where he does as well,” Thompson said. “We spoke about it last year: We just want the best for the both of us, wherever, if that’s here or somewhere else. Whatever the case may be, we just want to be in a position to be successful and have fun. I think we’re both in that now.”

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