When he was growing up, Trevion Thompson’s mom always told him he could do anything he wanted to achieve as long as he put his mind to it.
“She always told me it is mind over matter,” he said smiling as he thought back to those moments as a kid. “So I just keep that in the back of my mind. When I get tired, it is mind over matter. My mind controls everything that I do. So whenever I get to that point when I’m tired and I don’t think I can do anymore I just tell myself, ‘Let’s go Tre! Let’s go!’”
Thompson’s never quiet attitude is one reason why he has become one of the Tigers’ more dependable players on offense. He may not be the tallest or the most physical or the fastest guy in Clemson’s wide receivers’ room, but he is definitely someone his position coach, Jeff Scott, and head coach Dabo Swinney can count on.
In his career at Clemson, Thompson has caught 32 career passes for 317 yards and one touchdown. And though he has not had as many opportunities as some of the other receivers who have come before him, Thompson has made the most of his opportunities when he gets them.
His first impact catch came against rival South Carolina in 2015. The Gamecocks had rallied to come within a score of the Tigers in the fourth quarter in Columbia, but Thompson made an 11-yard catch on a crucial third-down play to keep a scoring drive alive that allowed Clemson to pull away for the victory.
In 2016, he made a key 15-yard catch against Louisville that helped the Tigers come back and beat the Cardinals at Death Valley.
This past fall, Thompson again made another big third-down conversion when he hauled in an 11-yard pass at NC State, a game the Tigers had to win in order to win the ACC’s Atlantic Division Championship.
“Everything is not always on your time,” Thompson said. “I’m going to go ahead and give it to God. It’s all on His time. It has always been patience for me and trusting His process.”
Trusting God has allowed Thompson the opportunity to step out of the shadows as a role player and into a potential spot as a starter. This spring, he has taken first team reps at boundary receiver as well as playing in the slot.
“Being a senior, I have to take that step and improve from years past,” he said. “I just have to learn and take my game to the next level. Of course, being a senior, that should be an advantage for me because I know the system and I know a little more than the younger guys, but it is all a process.”
Thompson, who stands at 6-foot-2 and weighs 200 pounds, has never had any issues when it comes to his physicality. He said he has never been lacking there. Where he did struggle, especially early in his career was with his overall knowledge of the position and the offense as a whole.
That has changed now. He knows what his job is no matter where he lines up on the field. He knows what the coverages are and he knows why plays are being run.
Watching guys like former linebacker Dorian O’Daniel and former defensive end Vic Beasley become All-Americans has motivated Thompson to know being patient and developing as a player and as a man pays off in the end.
“I’ve heard Coach Swinney talk about Vic and how he really did not play until his senior year so that motivated me, too,” Thompson said. “But I have never been a quitter so that motivated me too, and to just keep pushing.”
And more importantly believing he can do anything he sets his mind to.