“Trent, he earned it,” defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt said. “If he practices good this next week, he’ll start. If he doesn’t practice good he won’t. That’s kind of the way it is.”
The 6-foot-4, 307-pound Thompson from Albany joined nose guard Chris Mayes as the only defensive linemen starting.
He was credited with four tackles, all assists.
“He’s progressed enough where we’ve got enough confidence in him to start,” coach Mark Richt said. “A very talented young man, a hard worker. I think his best football is ahead of him.”
Alabama center Ryan Kelly blocked Thompson on a 30-yard second-quarter touchdown run by Derrick Henry.
“I think they schemed us up, I think they folded the tackle in there,” Pruitt said. “We didn’t fit the run exactly right.”
Thompson had seven tackles entering the game.
“I know what kind of player he’s been throughout this whole week and throughout this whole camp and his time here,” linebacker Jordan Jenkins said. “He’s hard worker, he’s focused. If he can do what the coaches say, he can be a great player.”