Brandon Turman is ready to step out of the shadows.
The junior quarterback at Thomson High School spent last year playing behind Anthony "Pooh" Erwin - the quarterback-turned-baseball-player who is now attending USC-Aiken.
Turman, 16, now finds himself as the starter.
"It feels great to be the starting quarterback," said Turman during a recent interview with The McDuffie Mirror. "I never thought I'd play quarterback at Thomson High School."
Turman was hoping to showcase a little of his talent last Friday night, as the Bulldogs entertained the Screven County Gamecocks in the annual scrimmage game. As it turned out, though, weather prevented that from happening.
The game was suspended for an hour before being canceled because of sharp lightening.
"I was a little disappointed because we didn't get to play any longer than we did, but we all understood it was about our safety," said Turman. "We were really hoping to play to see what our weaknesses might be and what we needed to work on before the game against Salem."
Thomson's new quarterback was referring to the Bulldogs' season opener tomorrow night (Friday) against Salem High School of Covington in The Brickyard. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
"Hopefully, we can have another good practice this week and be ready for them on Friday night," said Turman, who aspires to become one of the team's leaders despite being an underclassman. "I want to be a good quarterback, but I also want to be a good team leader, too."
Turman has worked hard on both of those skills since finding out he would become the signal caller for the Bulldogs.
He has running ability and is capable of throwing the football, too. He exhibited a little of his talent via the air in the brief scrimmage play against the Gamecocks last week. On the first play of the game, Turman immediately went to the air, firing an airborne pass of about 45 yards. Even though the pass wasn't caught, it showed that he can chunk the ball a long way downfield.
"I feel like my accuracy will improve, the more I throw the football," said Turman.
The son of Yetonia Turman, he began first playing football with the Thomson-McDuffie Recreation Department several years ago.
It wasn't at the position of quarterback, however. Instead, it was as a running back. At the age of 11, longtime local recreation coach Hamp Brown saw that he had quarterback and leadership abilities and converted him to that position. He's been playing quarterback since.
Playing quarterback on the high school level, however, there is a lot more pressure on him, admitted Turman.
"There are a lot of challenges and pressures, but I think I can handle it," said Turman. "I'm ready to give my very best."
Turman believes the Bulldogs could have a great season, if everything goes as planned.
"Everyone needs to get their minds set to play football," said Turman, noting he believes the team can win the region championship and go as far as winning another school state title. "I think we have the team, if we just get our minds right and do what the coaches tell us to do."