Trenton Thompson, a highly touted defensive tackle from Albany, Ga., announced at his high school Tuesday evening that he has verbally committed to Georgia.
Thompson is the top-ranked DT and No. 3 player in the class of 2015, according to the recruiting website Rivals.com. He received scholarship offers from Ohio State, Florida State, Alabama and USC, among other top programs.
Thompson joins Natrez Patrick, Chauncey Rivers, Quincy Vasser and Justin Young as the fifth defensive lineman in the class of 2015 to verbally commit to Georgia. Of that group, Thompson is the only tackle.
The Bulldogs’ 2015 class now includes 18 verbal commitments and is ranked No. 11 in the country, according to Rivals.com.
Georgia had long been considered the favorite for Thompson, who has described the Bulldogs as his No. 1 choice in interviews. However, Thompson visited Auburn at least five times and listed the Tigers as his No. 2 last month, while also mentioning Alabama, Florida State and USC as schools he liked.
Though some scouts describe Thompson as raw, his potential to become a run-stuffing force on the interior of the defensive line makes him one of the most prized prospects in his class. Thompson projects as a space-eater in the mold of former Florida State standout Timmy Jernigan, whom current Georgia coordinator Jeremy Pruitt coached with the Seminoles last season.
Thompson has said he models his game after Ravens nose tackle Haloti Ngata.
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When Thompson – who weighed 10 pounds, 3 ounces, at birth – began playing football in fifth grade, he lined up at running back. Thompson eventually outgrew the position, but he retained plenty of athleticism, agility and explosiveness. At 6-foot-4, 290 pounds, Thompson is said to run a 4.8-second 40-yard dash and bench press 385 pounds. He regularly draws double and triple teams at Westover (Ga.) High, yet he still compiled 83 total tackles and 12 sacks last season.
"Trenton Thompson is an absolute freak defensive tackle even though he's still raw," said Mike Farrell, the national recruiting director for Rivals. com. "Even without great technique, his quickness, size, strength and nonstop motor set him apart. He's that perfect 4-3 defensive tackle who can push the pocket, hold the line of scrimmage, shoot the gap and not get caught up in the wash working his way to outside pursuit."
This is the first time in three years that the top-ranked defensive prospect in Georgia has committed to the Bulldogs. In 2013, Loganville, Ga., defensive end Robert Nkemdiche chose Ole Miss, while in 2014 Hinesville, Ga., linebacker Raekwon McMillan picked Ohio State.