Coming to Clemson from Hillside High in Durham NC, Trevion Thompson was a 4-star recruit. He was rated as the 18th best WR prospect in the country, the #5 overall player in NC, and 117th overall nationally in the 247 Composite Rankings. He committed back in January of 2014 with Robbie Caldwell being the lead recruiter and NC State being the biggest competition for his commitment. As evidenced by the offers from Auburn, Alabama, Notre Dame, Florida, and U of SC, among others, its easy to see how highly-touted of a prospect he was coming out of high school.
Thompson wasn't expected to come in and make an immediate impact, but at the time, the consensus among many seemed to be that he would develop into a very good player fairly quickly, becoming capable of eating up a lot of snaps at one of the WR spots in this offense, and producing at a high level.
While he no doubt developed into a very good player, the Clemson football program started bringing in one elite wide receiver after another, and Thompson found himself somewhat buried on the depth chart. Clemson has become so deep at the position that it is hard to find enough snaps for all the deserving players.
After redshirting in the 2014 season, Thompson appeared in 7 games in 2015, catching 10 passes for 110 yards. Who can forget his 4th quarter 24 yard grab against U of SC that season? It set up a Tiger TD and put the brakes on a Gamecock comeback.
The next two seasons turned out to be very similar numbers wise. He appeared in 8 games both seasons, catching 11 passes for 108 yards and a TD in 2016, and 11 passes for 94 yards in 2017. His name became a popular one among fans when discussions of who could possibly transfer came up in the offseason last year, and he easily could have chosen to move on to another school where he could play more and potentially even start. Instead, he stayed. This speaks volumes about the “Clemson Culture” that we often hear about. He chose to stick it out and work on his craft by going up against some of the nations best DB’s every day in practice. As the old saying goes, “Iron sharpens iron," and he would have his best season in 2018, playing in 12 games, catching 21 passes for 189 yards and a TD.
Thompson may not have put up the kind of numbers that gets your name called during the NFL draft, but that doesn’t mean his isn’t NFL bound. A superb Pro Day back in March landed him several interviews leading into the draft. His 4.43 in the 40 yard dash was by far the fastest 40 time of all the guys who ran that day. He also had the best time in the short shuttle, 3 cone shuttle, and the long shuttle, as well as having the best vertical jump.
Thompson said he knew what he could do and what he was capable of, and always believed in himself. It was just a matter of getting a chance to display it in front of the NFL teams.
“It was a matter of just showing everybody else what I can do and what I knew I could do and just believing in myself. There is nobody else who is more in your corner than yourself, and of course your family, but it all starts with you.”
Despite not being drafted last weekend, his work paid off, as he signed an UDFA deal with the Los Angeles Chargers shortly after the final round of the draft concluded. He will now get to attempt to live out his dream and become the next member of #WRU catching TD passes on Sundays.
Trevion Thompson represents the kind of athlete that is starting to become all too rare in today’s college athletics landscape. So often these days, especially now with the new transfer rules, we are seeing players quickly jumping ship due to limited playing time. At Clemson, we are seeing just the opposite. Guys are staying, and embracing the competition instead looking for a quicker path on the field elsewhere.
Instead of finishing up his career in a different uniform and in a meaningless bowl game, Trevion finished his up by catching 2 second half passes in the National Title win over Alabama. A win that earned him a second CFP Championship Ring to go along with his Orange Bowl Ring, Cotton Bowl Ring, and 4 ACC Championship Rings. No other school can show off that much hardware over the same time period.
From all of us here at STS, we would like to say thank you Trevion. Thank you for your dedication, and all the hard work you put in, and most of all, thank you for the memories. Good luck in Los Angeles, and show them all what #WRU is all about.