The biggest chip of the 2015 college football recruiting class has fallen, as defensive tackle Trent Thompson committed to Georgia Tuesday, according to The Macon Telegraph's Seth Emerson:
Per 247Sports' composite ratings, the product of Westover High School in Albany, Georgia, is a 5-star recruit who ranks as the top defensive tackle and the No. 2 overall prospect in the nation, so there is no question that landing him is a major coup.
Thompson has been highly touted for quite some time, and he had no shortage of potential suitors. Among the schools that made a run at him, per 247Sports, were Georgia, Alabama, Florida State, Auburn and Clemson, along with a host of others.
Although Thompson didn't ascend to the No. 1 spot in the 247Sports recruiting rankings until February, many had him pegged for that spot long before, including 247Sports' Keith Niebuhr:
It is easy to see why Thompson has garnered so much interest. Not only does he have ideal size at 6'4" and 292 pounds, but his on-field production at Westover has been something special. Thompson truly took his game to the next level in 2013 with 83 tackles and 12 sacks.
Collegiate coaches have been salivating over his potential for a couple years, and it will undoubtedly be interesting to see how he translates to the college game.
Recruits are often tight-lipped when it comes to the recruiting process, but Thompson was surprisingly transparent. According to Wesley Sinor of AL.com, Thompson was in no rush to commit quickly.
"I do not want to commit early because I want to give everyone a chance," Thompson said. "I want to see how (Georgia's) season goes and if Coach Mark Richt is going to still be there."
Thompson also freely admitted to Sinor back in March that Georgia and Alabama were the top two schools that he was considering at the time:
Alabama is No. 2 for me now. When I went up there I had a great time with Reuben Foster, Blake Sims and everyone. I did not know it would be like that. Watching their workout film, I love their strength and conditioning coach and how crazy his voice is. He puts four quarters up and is crunk the entire time, so I cannot wait to go to one of their games.
Now that the marathon recruiting process has finally come to an end, the focus shifts toward what type of impact Thompson will have as a freshman and beyond. No. 1 recruits are normally expected to come in and dominate right away, but that doesn't always happen.
Thompson certainly seems to have the mixture of size, strength and explosiveness necessary to be an instant impact player; however, he'll quickly find out that elite-level college football is a different animal in comparison to high school football.
It's also important to note that the pressure to perform is something that Thompson has to cope with. He has certainly been a high school star, but the expectations are nothing compared to college football.
Thompson also has to adjust to the size difference. He is significantly bigger than most at the high school level, but that won't necessarily be the case moving forward. He is undoubtedly a big man, although there are plenty of offensive guards who have a larger frame than he does.
In fact, some might even argue that he is on the smallish side in that regard, so Thompson will have to be on point with the quick first step that he has become known for.
All of the potential is present for him to become one of the best defensive players in college football over the next couple years. Provided he puts the work in and adjusts well, that is an attainable goal.
Thompson is one of the most exciting prospects to come around in a long time, and there will be plenty of eyes on him from day one.
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