After a week of heavy recruiting down in southern California, the Cougars have received a verbal commitment from athlete Jalen Thompson of Downey High School. The news was first reported by Cougfan.com.
Thompson is rated three-stars by both Rivals and Scout. Before giving his verbal to Coach Leach and his staff, Thompson had reported offers from Army, Navy, New Mexico State, and San Diego State.
Standing 5'11 and weighing 169 pounds, Thompson becomes the fourth member of the 2016 recruiting class, joining quarterback Ian Book, linebacker Jihad Woods, and wide receiver Renard Bell.
Thompson is listed as a cornerback by Scout but an athlete by Rivals, as he plays on both sides of the ball for the Downey High School Vikings. His versatility made him a fit with Washington State, who have in the past turned cornerbacks into wide receivers and vice versa.
Watching some of his highlight reel, Thompson's greatest asset is his speed. Right from the snap of the football, he's able to separate himself from his defenders and blow the coverage open (my personal favorite is at :55 seconds in). His speed and acceleration is put on show when Downey runs a screen play, which we all know is one of Leach's personal favorites. On the other side of the ball, Thompson exhibits great footwork ... not biting on would-be jukes or spin moves, but instead wrapping up opponents with well executed tackles.
His Hudl video from this past season is embedded below.