While fans understandably get excited when their school lands a five-star prospect in recruiting, there have been countless examples of players failing to live up to that lofty ranking. Georgia fans obviously don’t have to worry about that happening with sophomore defensive tackle Trenton Thompson.

In only his second season in Athens, Thompson – the former No. 1 overall recruit in the nation for 2015 – has proven to be a force for the Bulldog defense. In fact, nine games into the season, the true sophomore leads the nation in run stop percentage – according to Pro Football Focus:

Thompson’s play is a big reason for Georgia’s improvement with stopping the run this season. The Bulldogs are currently third in the SEC is rushing yards allowed, giving up only 118 yards per game. Last season, the unit gave up 149 yards on the ground per game, eighth best in the league.

The development of Thompson should be a good indicator of good things to come in Athens, as Kirby Smart and his staff currently have a Top 5 class committed to play in Athens for next season. If the coveted players of that class come in contribute immediately, Georgia could have a special defense in 2017.