In 2022, Thompson got off to a red hot start, dominating defenses week in and week out. However, an injury in week five put a halt to his OPOY campaign. Mark finished the 2022 season with 463 rushing yards and two touchdowns, averaging 4.06 YPC.
Thompson also made an impact through the air, tallying two receiving touchdowns on the year. However, the Gamblers stumbled to a 3-7 record, finishing in last place in the South Division.
The 2023 season told a different story. Mark was unable to play the first two weeks, due to some rather unique circumstances which are detailed during his episode on the USFL Podcast.
Once he returned, Mark was on a mission. He tore up the USFL this year, setting a modern record for most rushing touchdowns with 14. Thompson posted 655 rushing yards, averaging 4.8 YPC. Additionally, he caught 15 passes for 90 yards.
Mark Thompson earned USFL Offensive Player of the Year honors, which was no surprise considering just how dominant he was in 2023.
Despite his efforts, the Houston Gamblers could not get over the hump of making the playoffs. After sporting a 5-3 record through eight weeks, Houston lost their final two games. Thompson had a workout with the New York Giants following his USFL success, but remained a free agent.
Back In H-Town
Now, Mark Thompson has made the decision to come back to Houston. The Gamblers have been confirmed to be a part of the USFL-XFL merger, and will retain HC Curtis Johnson and GM Lionel Vital.
Interestingly enough, the branding isn’t 100% confirmed yet, but regardless the structure will remain the same.
Thompson was debating a few landing spots, which included New Orleans and Memphis. Obviously, the Breakers got canned in the merger. After weighing his options, Mark has decided to return home to run it back with his squad.
To be quite honest, there’s no need to even speculate on his “fit” on the team next year. Mark is RB1, plain and simple. The offense will run through Thompson, as it should.
GM Lionel Vital has been busy as of late. The team has signed several free agents, and also brought back a couple familiar faces: