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Westover defensive lineman Trenton Thompson had just finished his sophomore season when January 1, 2013 rolled around.
But even at 6-foot-4, 282 pounds, the rising junior didn't have a scholarship offer from a college football program.
That changed in the spring as Georgia became Thompson's first offer and the offers started pouring in from SEC and ACC schools after that.
Now he holds a dozen offers from schools in BCS conferences and he's thankful for every one.
"It feels great to be where I am," Thompson said. "I am enjoying being a recruit and never really thought I would be here. I'm just really happy about it all."
Thompson, who is likely a top five prospect in the Peach State for 2015, has visited Georgia the most since exploding on to the recruiting scene, and he has made it no secret that UGA is his early leader.
"Georgia is at the top. I know that. They are ahead of everybody else. I love it up there at Georgia," he said. "I love the coaches, coach (Mike) Bobo and coach (Chris) Wilson. They were the first school to offer me. They were the first school to notice me. They were the first school to come down here to Albany and show interest in me, so I love it there."
Since Thompson didn't make it to Athens for Dawg Night in July, his last visit to Athens was in June for the Mark Richt Mini Camp.
According to Thompson, that day wasn't just a chance to work out at camp and see the school. He learned a lot a guy that hopes to be his future position coach.
"I really like coach Wilson because he is a good guy but a great coach," Thompson said. "When I went up to Georgia for that camp, I could tell how hard he coaches and how much he gets out of his players."
One of the biggest stories of the Mark Richt Mini Camp was one-on-one battles that went down between Thompson and UGA commitment Jake Edwards.
As a matter of fact, Edwards earned an offer from Georgia and committed that day and in no small part to his work against Thompson in those drills.
According to the South Georgia standout, the Bulldogs are getting a good one in Edwards for the 2014 class.
"Jake (Edwards) is a great player," Thompson said when asked about Edwards. "He is big and strong, but he is intense too. I mean, he almost ripped my shirt off at that camp. I beat him a couple of times, but he beat me a couple of times, too. He is so quick and strong. I think he is going to be great at Georgia."
Despite the fact that Georgia holds an early lead for Thompson, other schools are in hot pursuit and the Albany native has returned the interest.
He has made visits to Florida, Florida State, Auburn, and Tennessee and each of those programs holds a place in his top group as well.
"I like Florida. They are my No. 2 school," he said. "I like Tennessee, Florida State, and Auburn too. Those are the main schools I'm liking right now.
While Thompson is active on Twitter and up front about his feelings toward UGA, his mind is not made up and the blue chip defender doesn't plan on shutting his recruitment down any time soon.
"I don't know when I'm going to make a decision," Thompson said. "I'll decide when I'm ready I think. I have time. I just want to enjoy all of this and experience the whole thing. I am having a lot of fun."
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