Not only is Trent Thompson back, he’s remarkably self-assured for someone who went through a tough offseason.
At Georgia’s first preseason scrimmage, Thompson was a defensive standout who repeatedly made things difficult on the run game. Thompson appears much more confident in himself now than he was in previous years at this time.
“I know the system in and out,” Thompson said. “I know the calls. I know when to pull, I know how to hold my gaps better. I know how to let my linebackers make plays than me trying to do much. I’m not saying I overdo it but I don’t need to miss tackles. I can assist.”
Thompson believes he belongs on a football field with his teammates. Being away while injured wasn’t easy. But it served as a motivational tool.
“I focus on the weight room more, I focus on getting stronger instead of picking up weight,” Thompson said. “I stay lean. I stay with (strength and conditioning coordinator Scott) Sinclair to make sure I get extra running in because I know he’s going to get me faster. I trust what he does for the team.”
Marc Weiszer reports that Trent’s lost a little weight, but in a good way.
The 6-foot-4 junior is a little lighter at 300 pounds but says he may be quicker off the ball.
“He brings a tremendous amount of energy to the field,” defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said. “He is very, very destructive and runs to the ball. He is very consistent in that matter.
Tucker sounds pretty pleased there.
What’s most exciting to me is that for all his ailments last season, Thompson still managed to be impressive, third on the team in tackles with 56, first in tackles for loss and tied for the team lead with five sacks. Now he feels good physically.
“It feels good to get my shoulders right, my back, my ankles. I feel much better than I did last year,” Thompson said. “I think just having time to myself to get my mind right so I can focus on the team.”
Imagine what he might be capable of in 2017.