Welcome to Saturday Down South’s “D-line Week”, where we talk with some of the top realistic defensive line targets out there for SEC schools. We’ve interviewed some of the biggest names in the country, and we’ll rank them at the end of the week. See who your school has a chance of luring to campus.
Trent Thompson remembers when he was younger and being a big guy wasn’t quite as fun as it is now. So when he was a kid, as a defense mechanism, he decided he’d take the ‘jolly’ high road instead of being bummed about being bigger than all the other kids.
‘Jolly’ is sort of a nickname now.
Now, being big–and extremely quick for a guy his size–might be one of the reasons his dreams come true. Thompson is the No. 1 prospect in talent rich Georgia, he’s the No. 1 overall recruiting target in the SEC and he’s the No. 1 player in the nation–period. He’s a monster defensive tackle and everybody that matters in college football wants a piece of ‘jolly’.
He has a lot to be ‘jolly’ about these days, and his high school coach–Octavia Jones–told Saturday Down South that’s one of the other great things about his prized lineman. His upbeat personality is part of his success.
For those who don’t know (i.e., SEC fans who have been in a cave the past few months), Thompson is a 6-foot-4, 295-pound defensive tackle out of Westover High School in Albany (Ga.). Everybody who is paying attention figures his next hometown will also start with an ‘A’–as in Athens (Ga.)–but nothing is set in stone yet. He recently attended junior days at Auburn and Alabama, which are not far from home either. National champion Florida State also is close to home, as is Clemson, Florida, Tennessee, you name it. He is in the epicenter of elite southern football.
“I’m embracing all of this, it’s a blessing,” Thompson told Saturday Down South. “I’m going to take my time with it. You can only pick one team, and I’m going to try to take advantage of my time. I don’t want to make an early commitment because my word is my bond. I’m looking for a family, a relationship, and if you win too, that’s just the icing on the cake.”
Thompson certainly hears the talk about the Dawgs. On the 247Sports.com Crystal Ball, more than 40 recruiting analysts have predicted he’ll sign with Georgia, and nobody has him going anywhere else. Is that irritating for Thompson?
“I don’t mind that,” Thompson told SDS. “If you’re big time in Georgia, they all want you to stay home instead of going out of town. But at the end of the day it’ll be my decision only.”
So what is it that makes Thompson the No. 1 prospect in America? What do the coaches like?
“That’s easy, coaches are always looking at my ankles–coaches like linemen who don’t have fat ankles, and I don’t have ankles that are fat,” Thompson told SDS. “That means you’re quick, and that’s something special.”
Editor’s note: Saturday Down South’s references to ratings follow the 247Sports.com composite rankings for high school prospects.