Pitt has been in hot pursuit of four-star defensive end Jalen Thompson lately. Thompson made it out to Pitt for an unofficial visit in April, Pitt’s staff made a trip out to his high school in Michigan and now he’s coming back for an official visit.
Thompson, a 6-foot-4, 245-pound defensive end from Cass Tech in Detroit, Michigan, has officially set a June 2-4 official visit to Pitt, he confirmed to Pittsburgh Sports Now.
“(Pitt is) breeding great players in my position, it has a family atmosphere and the academics are great,” Thompson said.
Thompson narrowed his 32 offers to just Pitt, Penn State, Arkansas, Cincinnati, Michigan, Michigan State, Kentucky, USC, Georgia and Vanderbilt in February, and it’s clear that Pitt is standing out as a school in his Top 5 with an official visit designation.
With unofficial visits to Penn State, Michigan State, Pitt, Ohio State, Michigan, Cincinnati and Michigan State this spring, Thompson has been busy. And as of now, he has official visits to Cincinnati (June 10) and Pitt scheduled.
Thompson named Pitt to his Top 10 before ever stepping foot on Pitt’s campus, speaking highly of Archie Collins and Charlie Partridge, and a connection with former teammate Terrence Enos helped bridge the gap.
“When (Collins) started to recruit Terrence Enos, who’s at Pitt now, that’s how I first got to know him,” Thompson said in February. “He’s such a cool dude 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 of days. He checks up on me and tells me about Pitt.”
With an official visit to Pitt offering an extended period to stay with the program, Thompson wants to spend the extra time getting to know the current Pitt players, bonding with the coaches he’s connected with and seeing how Pitt runs on a day-to-day basis.
And in getting to know Partridge, after a junior season in which he recorded 30 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and 10 sacks in just six games, that sort of pairing would be legitimate coming off the edge at Heinz Field — with Thompson laying praise on Partridge.
247Sports rates Thompson as the 38th-ranked defensive lineman in the class and the second-ranked recruit from Michigan — holding a four-star rating. Rivals rates him as the 178th-ranked recruit in the class (19th-ranked strongside defensive end and the third-ranked recruit from Michigan).
Landing a recruit the caliber of Thompson is a big deal for Pitt, continuing a trend of not just top-ranked defensive linemen but four- and five-star recruits choosing Pitt for officials.
Along with Thompson, Pitt will host three-star wide receiver Kenny Johnson (Dallastown, Pennsylvania), three-star defensive lineman Isaiah Neal (Baltimore, Maryland), three-star defensive end Antonio Camon (Tampa, Florida), three-star defensive end Calvin Smith (Ocoee, Florida), three-star defensive end DeeJay Holmes (Pahokee, Florida), three-star defensive back Brice Pollock (Snellville, Georgia) and three-star wide receiver Tastean Reddicks (Miami, Florida) on June 2-4.