Six-foot-one, 224-pound Tyler Thigpen - not to be confused with Tecmo Bowl go-to wide out Yancy Thigpen or the perfunctory Peanuts playboy Pigpen - went to high school in South Carolina, where he was all-state as a running back.
After graduating in 2002, he attended Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC, which didn't actually have a football team at all at the time. The program began playing games in 2003 (in the Big South Conference); Thigpen, a red-shirt freshman, was the school's first ever quarterback. In 2006, his senior season, he led the Chanticleers to the NCAA division 1-AA playoffs and to the Big South championship.
He wasn't invited to the NFL combine in 2007, but impressed what scouts showed up for his pro day work out at the school. He was drafted by the Vikings in the 7th round, the 217th overall selection. And he was cut before the season began. But he was picked up off waivers by the Kansas City Chiefs. He only played in one game during his rookie season, in which he completed two of his six pass attempts. (He also threw a pick and took a 9-yard sack.)
Last year, however, he started 11 games for the Chiefs, a stretch where the team went 1-10. He did throw for more than 2,500 yards and 18 touchdowns though (nearly as many as the Dolphins had all season) and ran for 386 more yards another an additional score. Not stellar, but also not Culpepper-esque horrible.
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The real story with Thigpen in Miami, though, might come off the field. A sports reporter friend from Kansas City says the QB has quite a reputation as a playboy, and was even linked, for a time, to a local television reporter (with a porn name if ever one existed) Holly Starr.
This is Holly Starr.