Kenbrell Thompkins arrived at El Camino last season after attending Miami Northwestern High School, a far trek just to play football.
Yet, Thompkins was on a mission.
“When I was in high school I didn’t take football seriously,” he said. “I only had one offer, from Morgan State, back in school. Then my brother (Kendall Thompkins) signed with Miami, and that made me realize football could be a great opportunity for me.
“So, I decided to come to El Camino and make myself a better player and person.”
Thompkins certainly succeeded in making himself a better player during his freshman campaign.
He tallied 57 catches for 1032 yards and six touchdowns, putting together the best season ever by a freshman receiver at El Camino.
He also improved himself physically, and is now up to 6-foot-2, 180 pounds and claims a 4.45 second 40 yard dash and a 3.9 second shuttle.
As a result of his newfound focus and complete transformation as a player, Thompkins has caught the eye of many more schools that he did in high school.
“Coaches come out here and tell me they see a leader as well as a great player, and I’m proud of that,” he said. “There have been a few different ones out here to see me this spring. I remember Florida, California, and Tulsa all coming by, but there have been a few others.”
Because of the fact that he was not highly regarded in high school, Thompkins says this is really his first time going through the recruiting process, and right now he’s just soaking it all in.
“This whole process is all new to me, so I’m not really sure what to do,” he said. “I’m just going along for the ride for now. I don’t know when I’m going to make a list or make a decision; that’s in God’s hands right now. I just know I’m ready to start visiting schools.
“I went to Florida’s spring game and was very impressed. I love to travel, so pretty much any school that invites me down to their campus will get a trip from me.”
While Thompkins is unsure of when he’s going to commit to a school, he says there’s no denying that Florida is at the top for him right now after he visited there last month.
“I know I have offers from Florida, LSU, Kansas State, and Arizona,” Thompkins said. “But Florida is definitely on top for me right now, with everybody being the same after. I had never visited a school before, and I had a wonderful experience when I visited there.
“And growing up in Florida, it’s just a dream come true to get the opportunity to play for them.”
While the Gators are obviously in the driver’s seat for Thompkins, he said he’s going to experience the recruiting process and give other schools a chance.
One he is interested in checking out is LSU.
“LSU is a program I’m most definitely going to consider,” he said. “I like the program and the coaching staff, especially Les Miles. He’s a good coach and knows the fundamentals of winning.
“I grew up with Demetrius Byrd, and I know he went there and put up 600 yards straight out of junior college. Plus it’s just a winning program. I will definitely visit LSU if they invite me out there.”
Thompkins received his offer from LSU in the mail about two months ago after a chat with receivers coach DJ McCarthy.
“I talked to Coach Mac on the phone about two months ago, and he told me that I’d be getting my offer soon,” Thompkins said. “He said I was dynamic on film, and he likes how I play football. He said I would fit in perfectly with the offense.”
“I watch LSU on TV a lot, and I think I would fit in their offense well too,” he continued. “They throw it a lot and get it to the receivers fast. And like I said, they have proven that JUCO receivers can come in and make an impact like Demetrius Byrd did.”