Pitt is a finalist for a talented defensive back from Florida.
2024 three-star safety Jalon Thompson will be making his college decision later this afternoon and tells Pittsburgh Sports Now that the Panthers are one of his five finalists.
The Orlando, Florida native will be deciding between Pitt, West Virginia, North Carolina, UCF and Louisville at 2 p.m. Thompson also holds offers from programs such as Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Iowa State, Maryland, Minnesota, Ole Miss, Missouri, Nebraska, Penn State, Purdue, Vanderbilt and South Florida.
Pitt jumped into the fold for Thompson a bit later, with Tim Salem extending an official offer on May 9, but Pitt still made his final group.
“It feels great (to have Pitt offer),” Thompson told PSN in June. “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.”
Thompson had been in communication with Pitt’s coaching staff since his sophomore season at Olympia, and it’s been consistent communication since Archie Collins and Cory Sanders have started talking to him.
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.
In terms of official visits, Thompson ended up visiting UCF and North Carolina. Pitt still has worked its way into contention for Thompson though.
“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.”