With a year to go before Signing Day, Trent Thompson has established himself as the top defensive tackle prospect in the nation and one of the best defensive recruits available in the Class of 2015. The 6'4, 292-lb. defensive lineman out of Westover High School in Albany, Ga. is the consensus top player in the state of Georgia, top defensive tackle, and a top 10 overall recruit.
As of February, Thompson has received five-star grades from 247 Sports, Scout, and Rivals, the last of which named him as the top overall recruit in this year's crop. ESPN gives Thompson a four-star rating, but still calls him the top defensive tackle in the country. He holds fifteen reported offers as of February, including Florida State, Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Michigan State, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Mississippi State.
Thompson is an awesome prospect. While there are certainly more dominant high school players, there might not be one with more upside. Thompson is a trim 6'3.5 and 290 pounds, with the ability to add another 15 or 20 pounds of good weight in the coming years. He had good length and impressively is young for his grade level. Because of his youth, so much of his potential has yet to be tapped.
Thompson shows great explosion off the ball for a man of his size. His first step is excellent, reminiscent of some defensive ends. And he comes off the ball with good bend at times, though that will be something to improve at the college level. He blows opposing blockers off the ball, though I would like to see him to a better job of attacking a half-man (again, something that will improve with more experience, maturity and college coaching). Once he beats a blocker, his burst to the ball carrier is incredible, and he engulfs running backs. This is a player who is extremely raw, yet has the physical ability to not only take on, but whip double teams. His finish is violent and he really punishes players.
Thompson is definitely a player who profiles well against the pass, with his excellent burst. If he learns some pass rush techniques, that will make him even more dangerous.
If Thompson continues to develop, works on his hands, and becomes more disciplined, learning to pursue down the line more, he could easily be a first round pick in 2018 after three years of college football.