Apparently Trevion Thompson had his eye on the BCS bowl participants. Thompson, a 4-star recruit from Hillside (N.C.) High School, announced on Sunday that he will attend Clemson, eschewing offers from across the nation.
Jared Shanker of ESPN.com confirms the news:
Thompson, whose stock has been up and down the past couple seasons, is considered the No. 134 overall recruit in the nation by 247Sports' composite rankings. He's ranked 22nd among receivers and No. 8 from the state of North Carolina.
By all accounts, Thompson's decision came down to a choice between Ohio State and Clemson. The two high-profile programs were said to have created a big impression whenever he was starting to ramp up his recruiting process, and 247Sports gave them a leg above the competition. Its "crystal-ball" guess put a zero percent chance on Thompson heading anywhere other than Columbus or Clemson.
The Buckeyes' push, as it tends to be, was very likely about winning championships. Ohio State won its first 24 games under Urban Meyer and very likely would have played for a national title had Michigan State not pulled off an upset in the 2013 Big Ten Championship Game.
The Tigers were said to have an advantage for an obvious reason: location. Moving from Hillside High in Durham a little south to Clemson is far less of a cultural change than the freezing cold winters in the greater Ohio area.
Clemson also has a recent history of developing elite wide receiver talent. DeAndre Hopkins parlayed his stay in Dabo Swinney's system into being picked in the first round, and Sammy Watkins is almost certain to make that two straight in May. With Martavis Bryant also entering the draft, the Tigers are making a concerted push to become a hotbed of wide receiver talent.
Thompson is the type of player who could keep the good times rolling. While not gifted with 4.4-level speed, Thompson is extremely quick in bursts and an excellent athlete in traffic.
Listed at 6'3", Thompson's high school career was spent leaping over defenders—big and small—to create big plays for the offense. He's already developing into a solid route-runner, something that will be key to carving out a viable niche at the next level.
Assuming his top-end speed isn't elite, Thompson is someone who may need a year or two to develop. Elite athletes are everywhere in the ACC, so simply being a raw athlete won't translate to instant success. But with Swinney's history of developing young talent, it's hard seeing this being anything but a good relationship going into the future.
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