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Penn State Football Recruiting

4-Star 2023 DE Jalen Thompson Taking Penn State OV June 17-19

Photo courtesy of Jalen Thompson’s Twitter page

Jalen Thompson, a four-star defensive end from the Class of 2023, will take an official visit to Penn State from Friday, June 17, through Sunday, June 19.

Thompson (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) comes from Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan, the same high school as current Penn State players Kalen and Kobe King, both from the Class of 2021. 

As a junior, Thompson had 30 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and more than 30 quarterback pressures. He also plays tight end for Cass.

Penn State offered Thompson in April. Along with visiting Penn State, Thompson has already seen Pitt and Cincinnati this month and has a visit to Michigan State scheduled for June 24-26. 

247Sports National Recruiting Analyst Chris Singletary wrote this about Thompson in his scouting report for the site.

“Measuring in at 6-foot-2.5 and weighing 244-pounds he has a lot of room to add mass as he matures and develops in the weight room.

The build and frame he has is one that has good muscle definition with no bad weight on him. His broad shoulder along with good length with a 78-inch wing further validate the ability to add weight. Another sign of his growth potential is the size 16 shoe that he sports.

Thompson is a fluid moving player that can play in either an even or odd front defensive scheme. He can line up either in the 7 tech., 5tech or 4I and be comfortable and capable in all of these alignments.

Does a nice job using his hands and length versus the run game and in pass rush. He is able to disengage blockers to get off the block and make plays. For a long angular player he plays with good pad level the majority of time causing the offense from having a big target to try and strike when blocking him.

Can anchor down and hold the point in the run game, where you see he is very disciplined When he is rushing the passer he utilizes an up and move as well as the speed to power technique as his go to moves.

He is adept at angling and stunting on the move to gain ground and get into the backfield. Flashes a good motor and good football instincts as he does a nice job with read and recognition on different blocking schemes.

The upside for this guy is very good as he continues to grow.

He will need to work to maintain his athleticism and flexibility.

The mold that he will give colleges to build on is promising as his best football is ahead of him.

Being a power-5 starter with further advancement is not out of the question.

Michigan State seems to be the favorite to land Thompson. All five of 247Sports’ “Crystal Ball” projections have him staying in-state and committing to Sparty. 

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