Nacogdoches’ rising star Josh Thompson has been invited to The Opening, which is easily considered as one of the most prestigious high school football camps in the country.
Out of the 16,000 high school candidates in the nation, Thompson is one of the 166 elite who received an invitation to the three-day event at the Nike World Headquarters. Thompson is packed and ready to show Oregon how East Texas plays ball.
It’s summer. While the kids are out to play, Thompson can be found in an empty weight room where he chooses to stay. The defensive back doesn't need a workout partner to keep pushing when he's got his eyes set on competing at The Opening.
“It was an honor because out of 16,000 they only picked 166. When they invited me it was a blessing,” said Thompson.
This is now the fourth consecutive year a Nacogdoches Dragon has attended The Opening. Thompson follows former All-American Jacob Bragg, Jaylon Lane and one of the most sought out recruits last year, Brandon Jones.
In between Thompson’s workouts, the senior hasn't hesitated to reach out to his former teammates to get any competitive advantage he can.
“I've been asking Brandon about what all they do 7on7 wise and the coverages they run. I asked him and Jaylon Lane because they both played defensive back and that's what I'm going for,” said Thompson.
Even though Thompson will be battling against the best of the best in a nationally broadcaster event, the only thing he's nervous about surprisingly isn't even football related. He's more worried about his first-ever plane ride.
“At first the only thing I was nervous about was the plane flight. I've never rode a plane, but I'm not nervous at all,” said Thompson. “I'm just going to go up there, compete and do my best."
The Opening is just the cherry on top of Thompson's whirlwind of an offseason.
The defensive back received his first collegiate offer in March, then 23 other offers quickly followed before Thompson decided he'd become TCU Horned Frog. One reason stuck out for Thompson’s decision.
“There's no better football than in Texas,” said Thompson.
For now, the Nacogdoches up-and-comer only has himself to compete against, until he faces the nation's best and looks to close it down at The Opening.
“Seeing where I'm at is really what I want to do. I’m just going to go out there and do me. It’s the biggest event I've been to, but all the hard work I put in by staying after practice I feel has me prepared,” said Thompson. “I just don't want to be the type that just gets something then stops. I'll push myself to be even better than I am now.”
Thompson will fly out to Beaverton, Oregon on Thursday. The Opening begins Friday, July 8 and goes until July 10. Thompson will be on team Fly Rush and will wear the number three. The Opening will be broadcasted on ESPNU.
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