Trenton Thompson leaving Georgia to play in NFL


ATHENS — Georgia junior defensive lineman Trenton Thompson is leaving early for the NFL draft, according to a post on his Instagram account. 

Thompson is the first Georgia underclassmen to declare for the draft. 

An Albany native, Thompson was the nation’s top recruit in the 2015 class, per 247Sports. After a strong finish to his sophomore season – when he had three sacks in the Liberty Bowl – he struggled last spring with a medical issue, then a knee injury that caused him to miss two games this season. He finished his junior season with 38 tackles and zero sacks. 

Thompson had three tackles in the national championship game, including an impressive play in which he made a hard hit near the sideline, after crossing the field. That’s the kind of play that Thompson is hoping attracts NFL scouts, combining his athleticism and size (6-foot-4 and 295 pounds). 

“After long discussion with my family and coaches I have decided to enter the 2018 NFL Draft. I would like to thank my family, teammates, Coach Smart and the rest of the staff for all of their support the last 3 years. Coming to Athens was the best decision of my life and the memories and friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime. Playing in the NFL has been a lifelong dream of mine and I’m excited to see what the future holds. Even though I’m moving on to the next chapter, Georgia will always be home! I certainly want to thank the greatest fans in the country for their passion and support! Thank you Jolly Nation and Go Dawgs!!” 

Thompson said after the Rose Bowl that he was “up in the air” about returning for his senior year. He clarified that another Instagram post in early December, which many took to mean he was coming back, was only meant to show pride in being a member of the Class of ’18. 

This makes two members of this past season’s main defensive line rotation who are leaving: Starting nose tackle John Atkins was a fifth-year senior. 

Junior Jonathan Ledbetter said before the Rose Bowl that he was planning to return for his senior season. Ledbetter had a strong national championship game, splitting a sack and a tackle-for-loss, and his return would be a big lift to the line in 2018. 

Sophomore Tyler Clark also had a very strong finish to the season. Sophomores David Marshall and Julian Rochester are among those who will also take the sting off of Thompson’s loss. The team signed two defensive linemen last month: Five-star Brenton Cox, a defensive end, and Davonte Wyatt, an early enrollee who spent last year at a junior college, began practicing with the team in December. The team also has commitments from prospects Jordan Davis and Tramel Walthour. 

Junior inside linebacker Roquan Smith, an almost certain first-round pick if he declares, has not announced anything as of Friday afternoon. Cornerback Deandre Baker, center Lamont Gaillard and receiver Terry Godwin were also mulling whether to return for their senior years.

 


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Aly Raisman blasts USOC: ‘What’s it going to take for you to do the right thing?’
Aly Raisman blasts USOC: ‘What’s it going to take for you to do the right thing?’

Former USA gymnast Aly Raisman wants to know what it’s going to take for USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee to finally do the right thing. Raisman— who read a statement on Friday during the fourth day of former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State doctor Larry Nassar’s sentencing for the molestation of seven...
Never fear, Falcons fans: It’s (Greg) Knapp time!
Never fear, Falcons fans: It’s (Greg) Knapp time!
It’s as if the Atlanta Falcons are trolling their constituency now. Coming off one of the worst-coached games in team history – which is saying something – they’ve filled their one coaching vacancy by hiring …  Greg Knapp.  Important note: Knapp is returning only as quarterbacks coach – at least for now...
Baker Mayfield could be ‘quality’ NFL starter early in career, draft analyst says
Baker Mayfield could be ‘quality’ NFL starter early in career, draft analyst says

Baker Mayfield might not take very long to become a good NFL starting quarterback, according to NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah. Jeremiah ranked Mayfield No. 13 overall among the prospects in 2018 NFL Draft, and said Mayfield has the skill set to be a starter and have success early. Mayfield ranked behind only USC&rsquo...
Draft analyst names Texas OT Connor Williams top 20 prospect, praises ‘quickness’
Draft analyst names Texas OT Connor Williams top 20 prospect, praises ‘quickness’

Texas football fans should expect Connor Williams to go early in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Longhorns offensive tackle, who declared early for the draft, has established himself as one of the best draft prospects at his position despite an injury-ridden 2017 season. NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah had Williams at No. 17 overall in...
Nebraska recruiting mailbag: How will multiple remaining targets vs. few remaining scholarship spots shake out?
Nebraska recruiting mailbag: How will multiple remaining targets vs. few remaining scholarship spots shake out?

Welcome to the Nebraska recruiting mailbag. Each Tuesday, Land of 10 Nebraska recruiting reporter Chris Bumbaca will tackle the latest recruiting questions from readers. Ask your question for a chance to be featured in the next mailbag by tweeting him  @BOOMbaca. As always, thank you for the...
More Stories