Trenton Thompson, center, waves to the audience after committing to the University of Georgia Tuesday night at Westover High School. (Staff Photo: Tim Morse)
Westover's Trent Thompson commits to Georgia
Westover defensive tackle Trent Thompson, widely considered the top recruit in the nation, announces his commitment to the University of Georgia.
ALBANY — As the fight song, “Glory, glory” played over the speakers in the Westover High School auditorium Tuesday night, Trent Thompson stood up, put on a black Georgia Bulldogs hat and celebrated with the rest of the crowd who broke into a chorus of barking sounds.
Thompson, the nation’s top-ranked recruit by ESPN, made the verbal commitment in front of a near capacity crowd of friends, coaches and administrators, while his mother and father sat alongside on the stage.
The 6-foot-3, 300-pounder chose Georgia over Auburn and Alabama. He originally had stated that he did not want to commit early but had a change of heart as the summer progressed.
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“It’s a load off,” Thompson said. “I already knew which school I wanted to go to. I just wanted to help my teammates get exposure.”
Westover coach Octavia Jones said the final decision rested with Thompson but added that he had several conversations with his star defensive lineman about the possibility of committing early during the past few weeks.
“We had talked about that some so that he could enjoy his senior season,” Jones said. “But Trenton is a very unselfish player. He wanted to make sure his teammates could get as much exposure as possible.”
With his college decision finalized, Thompson is expected to be the backbone of a strong Patriot defense that should challenge for a state playoff berth. The senior played a key role last season in helping Westover to its first region title in school history.
This summer, he took visits to the three schools as well as Southern California. But the rising senior could have punched his football ticket just about anywhere he wanted. Last season, he recorded 83 tackles, 12 quarterback sacks and 38 tackles for loss.
In front of Thompson’s mother was a framed photo of his grandparents, two of the more special people in his life. Small tears streamed down his face as he talked about the importance his grandparents had in helping shape his life. He chose to commit on Tuesday because it would have been his grandparents’ anniversary, and he wanted to honor them.
“This is the best day,” Thompson said. “My grandmama kept telling me to play. She was always the bugging gnat in my ear. I know if she was here she would be proud.”
So are Thompson and the Georgia Bulldogs nation.