"In a camp, you're doing drills and you're doing stuff back-to-back, but you're standing there listening to coaches for a while. It gets kind of cold and the rain is hitting parts of your body that it normally wouldn't hit in a football game. It takes a toll on you, but you have to have the proper mindset."
At Swansboro (N.C.) High, Thompkins plays just about every skill position. Since most colleges are recruiting him as a wide receiver, the 6-foot, 167-pounder braved the inclement weather at that position.
"At the beginning of the camp, [the weather] really wasn't a big deal, because we were doing a lot of drills back-to-back," Thompkins said. "It wasn't until we got to the seven-on-sevens and the one-on-ones, and you were just watching for a while that it started to creep in. Your hands started to get stiff and you couldn't really close them. And then it was tough to concentrate on the ball. And also, when you're running routes, you're not able to feel your toes."
Additionally, passes weren't consistently on the mark since the quarterbacks were obviously dealing with the same weather conditions. Thompkins was sympathetic.
"Everybody's on the field experiencing the same conditions, so you can't really point the finger at the quarterbacks or anybody," Thompkins said. "Just the fact that they were out there and they were pushing hard, that's all you can ask for. There are going to be times when you run a great route and you're open and the ball isn't where it's supposed to be – you've got to expect that."
With all considered, Thompkins was happy with his performance on Sunday.
"I felt that my technique and the little things were good," Thompkins said. "Also, I did a good job of looking the ball in when I caught it."
Thompkins's performance Sunday was preceded by an even more impressive showcase a day earlier at the Shrine Bowl Combine.
"I felt great going in," Thompkins said. "I had all my coaches behind me telling me the little things that I need to do right. Going into the drills, I told myself not to compare myself to anybody else but to do the best I can personally and it will work out. With that mindset, it turned out to be the best camp or combine I've been to so far."
Thompkins' showing included a 4.38-second 40-yard dash, 10 reps of 185 pounds, and a 9-foot-3 broad jump.
The most recent recruiting trip Thompkins has made was UNC's Junior Day earlier in the month. He plans to visit Georgia on April 1, Georgia Tech on April 3, and Penn State on April 20.
Thompkins is sticking to his plan of waiting until his senior year to announce a list of favorite schools. However, he's noticed that a few schools are contacting him more than others – namely North Carolina, NC State, and Penn State with West Virginia recently amping up its efforts.
Specifically with UNC, Thompkins hears equally from assistant coaches Gunter Brewer and Dan Disch.
"Coach Brewer, he's a different kind of coach," Thompkins said. "We joke around a lot. But at the base of everything, he tells me just to be myself and do what's best for me.
"It's the same with Coach Disch – we joke around a lot, but his main goal is for me to do what's best for me and not for somebody else."