UGA Football

Thompson on moving past a tough offseason: 'It's a new Trent'

By Jason Butt

Georgia defensive tackle Trenton Thompson goes through a drill at practice.
Georgia defensive tackle Trenton Thompson goes through a drill at practice. Georgia Sports Communications

Trenton Thompson finally feels healthy again.

Since coming to Georgia, he’s dealt with injuries to both ankles, a back ailment and shoulder surgery. The latter came this past offseason, which then led to an issue involving an adverse reaction to medication that required brief hospitalization in February.

Thompson rehabbed with director of sports medicine Ron Courson during the spring and returned to workouts in the summer. He has been full-go this preseason, which has him feeling relieved and refreshed.

“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.”

A lot of that mental focus has been to stay in positive spirits.

Asked about what he went through in the spring, Thompson said he would rather focus on the future instead of reflecting upon the past.

“I can’t keep looking behind because it’s a new season,” Thompson said. “It’s a new year for us. It’s a new Trent.”

Thompson figures to be a major factor for Georgia’s defense in 2017. As a sophomore, Thompson finished third in tackles with 56. He was named the Liberty Bowl MVP with a three-sack performance.

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.”

Thompson credited his mother and siblings for keeping him level-headed through the tribulations he encountered.

Thompson also credited his fellow Georgia players for offering their support during a tough time. Being back on the field with them has meant a lot to the Albany native.

“I was really worried about getting back to my teammates,” Thompson said. “That’s who I’m going to be on the field with when it’s time to win games.”