Slimmed down Thompson feeling fine

Slimmed down Thompson feeling fine

CLEMSON – Brandon Thompson doesn't feel ignored by the pundits that have put together preseason watch lists or left out because he wasn't named to the all-conference team.

In fact, he was happy to see defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins pick up a preseason first-team All-ACC nod from the media amd a spot on the Outland watch list.

"I'm just proud of my boy," Thompson said. "I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing and he's going to keep doing what he's doing. We're going to be the best defense that we can be."

As a freshman, Thompson recorded 25 tackles before doubling that production a season later with 50 more while also adding nine quarterback pressures.

He's dropped several pounds since last season and looking to make an even bigger impact as a junior. Thompson's "peak" weight was in the 318-320 range. Now, he's back down to 300— his targeted playing weight.

"It was real important for me to lose that weight and to keep it off. You're legs do get a little tired as the season progresses. I think that will help me a lot, to keep fresh," Thompson said.

The weight loss has already started paying dividends in the first week of preseason camp.

"I feel better in the legs. I feel better moving. It was a good move," he said.

Saturday was the first day in full pads, which included the ‘Paw Drill,' more commonly referred to as the Oklahoma Drill. Thompson praised his counterparts on the offensive line for their effort during the drill.

"I'm impressed by the offensive line and how they keep improving every day," he said. "It makes my job a lot tougher."

Heading into the fall it's the defensive line that's been considered as the sturdier unit. Four experienced upperclassmen return to play in the middle at tackle along with a two-deep rotation of experienced ends.

There's a good chemistry going between those eight defensive linemen, according to Thompson.

"We know how each other work. When we're in practice, it's been like magic. Everybody knows each other and it just goes along smooth," he said.

A second season in the same system also helps.

"I think, knowing the defense now, it's a lot better than it was last year. Everybody seems to grasp the information better," Thompson said.

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