Editor’s Note: It may be time for the Georgia Bulldogs to take back the SEC East in 2017. We’ve featured the most important UGA players, coaches, fans and staff for the upcoming season in a 20-part video series, which you can binge-watch right here.
ATHENS, Ga. – Trent Thompson is fine and dandy, according to head coach Kirby Smart, and that’s a big deal for the Georgia Bulldogs.
The junior defensive tackle had a medical episode last February in which police encountered a disoriented and incoherent Thompson wandering through campus after midnight. Emergency responders were called, and Thompson was taken to Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital where it was determined he had a bad reaction to prescription pain medication he was taking while recovering from shoulder surgery.
Thompson withdrew from school shortly after that, and initially there was concern whether his career with the Bulldogs would continue. But as it turned out, Thompson never left town and, for the most part, never left the supervision of UGA’s medical and training staffs. While he did not participate in spring practices, he was in attendance and worked out on the side with Ron Courson, Georgia’s director of sports medicine.
Thompson re-enrolled at UGA for the May mini-semester. Smart reported at SEC Media Days that Thompson is reengaged with the team and will be eligible to play for the Bulldogs this fall.
The 6-foot-4, 295-pound tackle, who can play inside or outside on the defensive line, should contend for all-conference honors. Thompson earned overall and defensive MVP honors for his performance in the Bulldogs’ win over TCU in the Liberty Bowl. In that game, he recorded 8 tackles and 3 sacks.
Thompson was considered the No. 1 overall recruit in America when he signed with the Bulldogs out of Westover High (Albany, Ga.) in 2015. He played in all 13 of Georgia’s games last season, making seven starts. He finished as the team’s leading tackler among interior linemen with 56 total stops. He also had 9.5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks and 7 QB pressures.
Click here to see more of “Own the East,” our 2017 season preview of the Georgia Bulldogs in video form.