A day after coming up short with 4-star tight end Khalil Anderson, the Pitt Panthers are in contention for another elite prospect from one of the top schools in Michigan.
2023 4-star defensive end Jalen Thompson, from Cass Tech in Detroit, Michigan, narrowed his list of 25+ offers down to just 10 and that new list includes Pitt. Thompson has announced that his Top Ten are- Pitt, Penn State, Arkansas, Cincinnati, Michigan, Michigan State, Kentucky, USC, Georgia and Vanderbilt.
The 6’3″, 245-pound 4-star recruit is rated as the No. 2 junior recruit in Michigan and rated by both Rivals and 247 Sports as one of the Top 200 juniors in the country.
Following his announcement, Thompson spoke with Pittsburgh Sports Now about what’s stood out to him about the Pitt program, and not surprisingly, two of their assistants are a big reason for them being a consideration.
“In making this first cut, some of my biggest factors were, I didn’t just want to be interested in the school, I needed to know and see that that school was interested in me,” said Thompson. “One thing about me is that I’m a relationship person. If I had a good relationship with the staff, that’s big because I’m going to be at that school for the next years. That’s No.1 for me. Also, I want a school that I can become the best developed player at my position. I also need to know that the coach at my position, really knows what he’s doing. Finally, I need to know that I can have an academic degree and a place that I can develop outside of just football.”
After hearing those factors, Thompson went on to talk about two big factors for Pitt, Archie Collins and Charlie Partridge.
“First of all, and very importantly, Coach Archie Collins is a really good football coach. He didn’t even offer me when we first met. However, when he started to recruit Terrence Enos, who’s at Pitt now, but that’s how I first got to know him. He’s such a cool due and someone that I’ve come to admire. He and I started to build a relationship and over time and after talking with him more and more, he offered me and kept telling me how he really wants me down with him at Pitt. Terrence has also played a factor. I still talk with him and actually talk with him every couple days, he checks up on me and tells me about Pitt. Finally, a big factor is the great defensive line coach they have. Coach Partridge, oh man, that guy is really good and puts so many guys in the league, like Aaron Donald. He definitely knows what he’s doing.”
Jr Szn Tape…
— Jalen Thompson ✞ (@__4jalen) December 1, 2021
Thompson tells PSN that he’s never physically been to Pitt but has seen it through Zoom Calls with the Pitt staff and that he plans on making his first visit sometime this spring for a practice.