CONWAY, S.C. – Former Coastal Carolina University All-American quarterback Tyler Thigpen has been named the starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs this week on the road at the Atlanta Falcons, Head Coach Herm Edwards announced today. This will be Thigpen’s first National Football League start and the third Coastal Carolina alum to start a NFL game, as Carolina’s Quinton Teal had a start as a rookie in 2007 and San Diego’s Mike Tolbert has started the first two games this season for the Chargers.
“I’m excited for this opportunity to get to start,” Thigpen said. “You dream of this as a kid growing up playing football, so it is definitely exciting for it to come true now. Last week helped because I did see quite a bit of action and got more comfortable as the game went on and we had some success. This week, I am just going to go out there and try to execute what the coaches call and move this team down the field. We believe in the coaches’ game plan for the Atlanta game, so I am going to do my best to lead our team to a win.”
Thigpen saw significant action last week against the Oakland Raiders, going 14-for-33 for 151 yards, one touchdown, one two-point conversion pass and an interception. Prior to that, he had attempted just six passes during his rookie season with the Chiefs in 2007.
Thigpen, who was the 2006 Big South Conference Offensive Player of the Year and finished seventh in the balloting for the Walter Payton Award, ranked second in the Football Championship Subdivision with 329.3 ypg of total offense, while being fourth nationally with 274.7 passing yards per game after leading Coastal to its third consecutive Big South title and first-ever berth in the NCAA Division I Football Championships. The first-ever Big South player to be nominated for the Payton Award and a 2006 American Football Coaches Association All-American and Associated Press First Team All-American, he set nine Conference season records in 2006 in total offense (3,952), total offense per game (329.3), passing yards (3,296), touchdown passes (29), passing yards per game (274.7), passing efficiency (167.42), 300-yard passing games (5), 300-total yard games (9) and rushing yards by a quarterback (656). He was named Player of the Week four times this season and became the first Big South quarterback to rush for more than 600 yards in a season, with his 656 ranking fourth overall in league rushing, while adding five touchdowns. His 3,296 passing yards also made him the first quarterback ever to throw for more than 3,000 yards in a single season. He also ranks second all-time in the Big South in total offense with 8,236 yards, while also helping CCU to a 34-11 (30-8 as a starter) during his four years with the Chanticleers.