One of the reasons people say to wait on sex, is because sex can really cloud your judgement about people. If you meet someone, then rush right into bed with them, your mind is going to idealize them. It's going to make that person seem perfect for you, especially if they happen to be good in bed. It's all going to just feel like a fantasy, and you may not see it if they are just and awful person who's leading you on.
When you already know the person, things are different. Friends who become romantic have the advantage that they don't need to go through all the steps of dating, to do anything more than observe formalities. Chances are, you got to know each other before you two clicked romantically. Normally, when strangers become interested that way, there has to be a long period of getting to know each other, and that's what all the steps of dating are really about.
So, what needs to be done at this point to make sure you two are ready? You two need to discuss health history. Be sure you know if he's used protection with the girls he's been with before you. Look at contraception options and find the one that's right for you two. I myself am a big fan of condoms. They aren't 100% reliable, but fairly close. Make a plan for what you two are going to do if the condom breaks during sex. Plan B is a pill you can take up to two days after a failed condom. It forces you to get your period, but it doesn't work if you have actually become pregnant. It's hard on your body, and the pill is expensive, so it should only be an emergency measure.
You also need to have a plan in place for what you two are going to do if you get pregnant. Pregnancy is a reality of hetero sex. Just about every girl and woman I know, who is sexually active, has at least pregnancy scares, and some have ended up pregnant and miscarried. If you learn the best way to track your cycle, and stay away from sex on your three most fertile days, you should be mostly safe. Random ovulations can happen, or even stress can throw your cycle off.
So, once you get all the aforementioned handled, you two are ready. You can just go for it, because I can honestly not suggest a person who would be better to have your first time with than this guy.
And that's the best advice I can give.