The way Kendal Thompson sees it, he's been preparing for this month his whole life.
So what's there to be nervous about?
“Right from the start, I was being groomed for this,” said the second-generation quarterback. “I was around the game from the beginning because of my dad. I didn't really have the normal childhood being Charles Thompson's son. But everything I went through got me ready for this.
“This is something I expected to do.”
“This” is something the majority of high school football players only dream about. And, it's actually more than one thing. It began last Saturday and will culminate on Jan. 18.
Tonight, Thompson will play in the Under Armour All-American football game at 6 p.m. (nationally televised by ESPN) in St. Petersburg, Fla. Then, less than two weeks after returning home, Thompson will begin classes at OU and start working toward the Sooners' spring practice.
“That's very exciting,” said Thompson, whose father was a wishbone QB for the Sooners from 1986-1988. “I get a head start on my college career. I can get my body prepared. I can learn the system. I get to start competing.”
Thompson graduated early from Southmoore High School, completing his degree requirements in December. That means, aside from not missing any class this week, the 6-1, 175-pound left-hander will have a five-month jump on both his anticipated degree and his OU football life.
Of course, before that comes tonight's game featuring the nation's elite prep football players. Aside from Thompson, Millwood's Josh Turner (a Texas commit), will represent Oklahoma high schoolers. Four other OU commits (Nathan Hughes, Jordan Phillips, Brandon Williams and Danzel Williams) will play alongside Thompson on the Under Armour White Team.
“All five OU signees — we're all on the same team down here,” Thompson said. “Danzel, we went on our official trip together. And Brandon and I have been close throughout the recruiting process, and we will be roommates at OU.”
Brandon Williams, a running back from Brookshire, Texas, also graduated high school early and will begin classes at OU on Jan. 18.
Meanwhile, neither the quick start on college life nor the five days of practicing with and against some of the best high school football players in the country has fazed Thompson.