Georgia Recruiting: 5 Reasons 5-Star DT Trent Thompson Will Sign with the Dawgs
Trent Thompson is a big defensive tackle at 6’4” and 292 pounds (according to 247Sports), but he’s an even bigger recruit. According to the latest 247Sports Composite rankings, Thompson (an Albany, Georgia native) is the top overall prospect in the country.
Thompson has offers from many of the nation’s most elite programs. Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and others have all offered scholarships, but the home-state Georgia Bulldogs won’t disappear without a fight.
Here are five reasons why Trent Thompson will sign with the Dawgs.
Unless otherwise noted all recruiting rankings, ratings and stats courtesy of 247Sports.
One can’t overestimate the advantage an in-state power like the Georgia Bulldogs have over out-of-state competition. The Dawgs signed the Peach State’s top overall prospect (per 247Sports) in Lorenzo Carter in 2014, and they’d love to do so again with Thompson.
That home cooking is wearing on Thompson in a very positive way according to Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports. “I get a different feeling at each school I go to,” Thompson told Neibuhr. “But when I get to Georgia it just puts a smile on my face. It feels like home.”
Home-field advantage applies to recruiting as much the games themselves. That helps Georgia’s chances.
Several other stars are slated to play for the in-state Bulldogs already. Five-star athlete Terry Godwin is committed to the Bulldogs as are 4-star Georgia products Natrez Patrick and Chauncey Rivers.
These players’ commitments could swing Thompson closer to the Bulldogs as Mark Richt and his coaching staff strive to mirror 2011’s effort to sign the majority of the state’s top players. The Dawgs may be behind the eight ball in some regards on that calling as several elite talents have already committed elsewhere. But don’t neglect the power of peer pressure.
Five of Georgia’s six high school commitments hail from the Peach State. That may be a group worth joining.
The recruitment of Thompson brings out the best in Georgia’s coaching staff. According to 247Sports, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo (who happens to be one of the best recruiters in the nation) is the lead recruiter of Thompson.
Tracy Rocker, Georgia’s new defensive line coach, would be more than capable of molding Thompson into an elite defensive lineman. After all, Rocker was one of the best defensive linemen in the country when he played at Auburn, and he boasts significant coaching experience at the collegiate and professional level.
Jeremy Pruitt has the Dawgs reenergized as the new head of the defense and has reputation as a stout recruiter himself. And with a prospect as important as Thompson, Richt is sure to be involved along the way as well.
This staff will stop at nothing to land the future star.
In the past, Georgia’s 3-4 defense has relied on massive defensive tackles. Pruitt’s arrival brought an emphasis on speed and swarming. As a byproduct, the defense is getting a little smaller.
As Pruitt told Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “A lot of our guys have got to get their weight under control. We’re too big, in my opinion. We’ve got to get a little smaller.”
Accordingly, Thompson (at 292 pounds) could contend for playing time at his natural tackle position without having to add tremendous amounts of bulk weight. Furthermore, he’ll likely be able to maintain his sound footwork and surprising quickness.
Pruitt’s commitment to open competition, as well as Georgia’s lack of an established future star at defensive tackle, would equate to plenty of early opportunities for Thompson.
Chris Mayes and Mike Thornton, who have both played as nose tackles, are seniors this year and will be gone by the time Thompson arrives on campus. John Atkins, who redshirted as a freshman last season, will likely get some opportunities this year at tackle. Outside of Atkins, only incoming freshman Lamont Gaillard will be present in 2015 to push Thompson for playing time.
Thompson would play early and often as a Bulldog and could compete for a starting nod from Day 1. That will be attractive to him as he makes his decision.