Houston Gamblers QB Clayton Thorson, the USFL’s ’emerging star’

Clayton Thorson is no stranger to the big stage.

The 26-year-old signalman was a four-year starter at Northwestern from 2015-2019. While at Evanston, Thorson started 53 games, posting a 36-17 record, including a pair of 10-win seasons in 2015 and 2017.

His 53 straight starts are the most ever by a Big Ten quarterback and brings him closer to former Texas quarterback Colt McCoy for the most of all time by a Power 5 QB.

After being drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Thorson made two saves with the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants before landing with the Houston Gamblers in the USFL.

The former Northwestern star made his USFL debut last week in the Gamblers’ 17-12 win over the Michigan Panthers. While Thorson’s numbers didn’t set the world on fire, it was his impressive 12-yard touchdown off Isaiah Zuber in the second quarter that caught the attention of “Undisputed” co-hosts Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless.

Houston Gamblers WR Isaiah Zuber goes up for a TD kick

Houston Gamblers WR Isaiah Zuber goes up for a TD kick

The Zuber Players wide player scores a tough touchdown for a 17-0 lead over the Michigan Panthers.

“I was very impressed with that play,” Sharpe said of Thorson’s shot, which was perfectly placed over a pair of Panthers defenders and into the hands of Zuber in the back corner of the end zone.

“That was a hell of a play. It was an NFL pitch the quarterback made at that time.”

Clayton Thorson and Houston Gamblers eye 2-0 USFL start

Clayton Thorson and Houston Gamblers eye 2-0 USFL start

Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe react to Clayton Thorson’s game-winning touchdown against the Michigan Panthers and share what they’re looking forward to in Week 2.

Thorson’s touchdown pass ended up being the winning score, leading the “Undisputed” team to call it “USFL’s Best Moment of the Week.”

“If you think of the line of sight that [Clayton Thorson] had, he must see only red jerseys but know that his receiver slipped behind him and the two [defensive backs] hit together in the air, and he drops it right on top of them,” Bayless said of the impressive throw.

“I’ve been a huge Clayton Thorson fan since he played at Northwestern,” he added. “I believe he will become a USFL star.”

Top 10 USFL Week 1 Games

Top 10 USFL Week 1 Games

Check out the USFL’s Top 10 Opening Week games.

Thorson wasn’t the only one to stand out from the USFL with a standout Week 1 moment.

On Friday, the “First Things First” team shared their picks for the season’s best opening week plays.

BEST TAKE: Birmingham Stallions WR Osirus Mitchell carries an incredible one-handed touchdown catch.

Chris Broussard on Mitchell’s capture: “My God, it looks like [Odell Beckham Jr.] the low.”

BEST RACE: Philadelphia Stars RB Darnell Holland breaks up an impressive 42-yard touchdown run.

Kevin Wildes on Holland’s run: ‘His Twitter handle is @yocrazylegs!’

BEST TECHNOLOGY: The Gamblers and Panthers release official tech on the first try.

Nick Wright on Best Tech: “Robots: Terrible customer service, great first measurements. USFL gets it. They’re giving us robotic first measurements. I’m thrilled with the breakthroughs this weekend.”


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