Pitt FB Recruiting
2024 3-Star S Jalon Thompson Feels Very Good About Relationship With Pitt
Jalon Thompson remembers watching Pitt play Virginia on a random Saturday afternoon last November. How could he not? The first two plays of the game were interceptions taken back to the house by Marquis Williams and M.J. Devonshire.
Thompson — a 6-foot, 180-pound three-star safety at Olympia High in Orlando, Florida — watched the back-to-back pick sixes and thought that if given the opportunity, he’d be able to do the same thing in their shoes. He may have that opportunity one day after Pitt officially extended an offer on Tuesday.
“It feels great,” Thompson told PSN. “It’s a very good defensive program, and they have a really good defensive scheme, and they like to compete with the top schools being in the ACC, and it feels good.”
Blessed to receive an offer from the University of Pittsburgh @CoachTimSalem @ARCHIECOLLINS_ @coachcsanders @CoachGabe34 @RivalsFriedman @BHoward_11 @ChadSimmons_ @Andrew_Ivins @Pitt_FB @247fbrecruiting @24k7v7 @JeremyO_Johnson @KiddRyno_Rivals pic.twitter.com/z0hIbVUVWr
— Jalon “JT” Thompson (@_4Jalon) May 10, 2023
Thompson obviously didn’t hold an offer from Pitt when he watched Pitt-UVa, but he’s been talking to Tim Salem and the Pitt coaches since his sophomore year at Olympia. It’s been pretty consistent communication ever since, especially when Archie Collins and Cory Sanders got into the mix.
In talking to Collins and Sanders, who see him as a safety right now, and who have also been teaching him more and more about Pitt with each call, they’ve been very complimentary of a particular attribute of his.
“Speed,” Thompson said. “They really love the speed because they’re a very physical team. They like to play a lot of man press, and they can use my speed for that.”
Thompson does a little bit of everything at Olympia, playing cornerback, safety, nickel and even linebacker if called upon, and it’s all the pursuit of helping the Titans win. His fluidity and versatility are what makes him stand out to coaches right now, at least in his eyes. He does like dropping back in coverage to play that centerfielder role though, picking off passes and taking them back to the house.
As a junior at Olympia last season, Thompson recorded 17 tackles (nine solo), a team-high two interceptions and served as a key kick returner for the Titans.
247Sports rates him as the 611th-ranked recruit in the class (57th-ranked safety and the 92nd-ranked recruit from Florida) while Rivals rates him as the 47th-ranked safety and the 89th-ranked recruit from Florida — holding a 5.7 Rivals Rating.
On3 rates Thompson as the 599th-ranked recruit in the class (44th-ranked safety and the 80th-ranked recruit from Florida).
With offers from Cincinnati, FAU, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Kansas, Louisville, Maryland, Minnesota, Ole Miss, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, Purdue, USF, UCF, Vanderbilt and West Virginia, Thompson has a lot of schools to consider.
He’s scheduled one official visit to North Carolina already, and while he’s seriously considering heading out to Pitt, he’s also thinking about Duke, Rutgers and UCF.
Pitt, while the offer is still fresh, has managed to make an impact over the course of the lasting relationship forged by Salem.
“I feel very good about them,” Thompson said. “They really care about the athlete as a person as well as on the field, they care about relationships. They’re not talking just to be talking, they’re very straightforward and honest. I like that about them.
“I would say they stand in a pretty good place. Talking with the coaches for a while and really getting to know them, I’d say they’re in a good place.”
The plan for Thompson right now is to make his official visits and commit sometime in July or early August.
Pitt has a commitment from three-star cornerback Tayshawn Banks so far in the class of 2024, but the official visit window and the summer months will go a long way in adding another few defensive backs to the class.