What I Learned Watching: Trenton Thompson

LEESBURG - Being Trenton Thompson might not be that much fun in 2014.

It might not be that much fun, but it still might be very productive. Trenton Thompson, the five-star recruit who committed to Georgia less than two weeks ago, was double and triple teamed every snap of Westover’s 13-0 loss to Lee County on Saturday morning.

Thompson didn’t get tired. He played every snap of defense for the Patriots that I saw. I wonder what its like playing linebacker for Westover - you get a lot of chances to make tackles because the center and at least one guard is dealing with Thompson. Its impossible to think that an SEC-level team would triple team a defensive lineman, but double teams are pretty common.

The problem with double-teaming a defensive lineman is the math involved. The guard or center should be exploding to the linebacker level to at least get in the way of the primary tacklers for the defense. But with Thompson, two offensive linemen are dealing with him alone - leaving three (and occasionally two) remaining offensive linemen to confront the rest of the front seven of the Westover defense.

Thompson is the primary reason Lee County, a team that averaged 36 points a game in 2013, only scored 13 points on Saturday morning. He got penetration and likely had six tackles. The job of a defensive lineman isn’t to make tackles. It is to set up tackles - Thompson did that. The middle of the offensive line was a virtual wasteland for Lee County. It is difficult to run an offense without the ability to run the ball in the middle of the line of scrimmage.

Sure, Thompson can stand up a little, but not the way most do. You could see why he’s arguably the top prospect in the country. I was impressed overall. I’ve seen Thompson play live three times. He’s going to get after the quarterback. He’s going to stuff the middle. He’s going to give effort. There’s not much more you can ask for from a defensive lineman who is not getting a sub dying a game.

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