Trevion Thompson is still adjusting to being referred to as the old man in Clemson’s receiving group.
Tigers co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott had a conversation with Thompson earlier this week that began, “Well, since you’ve been here 28 years…”
But Thompson doesn’t mind being teased about his age or battling with players two or three years younger for playing time. The redshirt junior is committed to being the best player he can be while also helping freshmen and sophomores.
“Just step it up from last year pretty much and develop as a leader,” Thompson said. “That’s what I’ve been focusing on, me being the oldest guy in the receiving group. I try to be more vocal and lead by example. And this year just be more of a guy that can be depended on and can go out there and make plays on a game-to-game basis. And whenever I go in there’s no slack off.”
After redshirting in 2014, Thompson was a part of Clemson’s rotation at receiver each of the past two years.
He had 10 catches for 115 yards as a redshirt freshman in 2015 and followed that by catching 11 passes for 108 yards while helping the Tigers win the national title last season.
Clemson has brought in top recruiting classes since Thompson arrived, but the North Carolina native is not ready to take a back seat to younger players.
“Of course the focus is going to be on the young guys, and they’ve all done great. Me, I just put my head down and I grind every day,” Thompson said. “I don’t pay attention to that.”
Thompson is constantly pulling receivers to the side and offering tips on route running or making sure they understand all of the plays.
Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said that while Thompson may be an afterthought to some, Clemson’s coaching staff has not forgotten about him.
“Trevion doesn’t get talked about enough,” Swinney said. “Trevion is a very, very valuable player. He plays multiple positions. We cross-train him. I love his work ethic, his attitude.”
Putting in the work is something Thompson was committed to throughout the offseason.
“I improved on my speed. I got a lot faster, more explosive. I feel a lot better. I’m more lean. I can go out there and go for a long period of time. That’s what I focused on this offseason,” Thompson said. “It was just toning up my muscles and continuing to get stronger. The workouts were great. I pushed myself every day.”