Jalen Thompson quietly creating a buzz this spring

OF THE FOUR early enrollees this January at Washington State, safety Jalen Thompson probably had the least amount of buzz coming into spring ball. But eight practices in, the true freshman is quietly becoming one of the bigger defensive stories of the spring.

It was a surprise to see Charleston White, after moving to safety this spring, move back to corner. After all, White had played well at safety, and had shown a knack for interceptions. 

So why move White back to corner?  We asked CF.C correspondent Tyler Baker, who has seen every WSU spring practice.

“The main reason is because of how well Jalen Thompson has done at safety,” said Baker.

Safety is not a position that lends itself to a true freshman starting at right out of the gate. But Thompson (6-0, 176) has proven to be both a quick study and playmaker.

White first moved back to corner when Marcellus Pippins got a little dinged up. But when Pippins returned, White stayed at corner.  Baker says White has established this spring his versatility.

“White has proven to be good at both corner and safety,” said Baker.

In the fall, WSU will bring in Robert Taylor, a safety the WSU coaches are very high on.  Add in Thompson and Shalom Luani, who is as close as one can get to a lock as a starter, and the Cougs may have three solid options for the two starting spots, not to mention a whole lot of competition in fall camp.

Meanwhile, here in spring ball, defensive coordinator and DBs caoch Alex Grinch is doing the same thing he does during the season, Baker says.

“They are just trying to have the best four on the field, and right now to me that’s White/Pippins and Darrien Molton at corner, and then Shalom and Thompson at safety,” said Baker.

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