Gesser sees a lot of Lamont Thompson in Jalen Thompson

TRUE FRESHMAN SAFETY Jalen Thompson is Jason Gesser's surprise of the spring, Gesser said on Bill Moos’ radio show Monday. The 6-0, 176-pounder hasn’t played a college football game, hasn’t even gone through his first fall camp, but Gesser already likens him to another CouGreat safety.

“The one guy that jumps off the page more than anyone else right now is a new guy who should be going to senior prom this year, Jalen Thompson,” said Gesser. “He reminds me of a previous Thompson who holds the Pac-12 interception record, Lamont Thompson.”

Lamont Thompson played as a true freshman for Washington State and picked off 24 passes over his career (1997-99, 2001).

“Jalen looks to be setting the table up for the same thing, Alex Grinch loves him,” said Gesser.

Gesser also tabbed linebacker Frankie Luvu and running back James Williams as two others who have emerged in his eyes this spring.

“(Luvu) is showing to be a starter – really athletic, really long, always flying to the ball, really hitting guys, always putting his face on guys… (Williams) needs to learn how to carry that ball a little better… his ability in the backfield is going to give us a new dimension back there as well,” said Gesser.

Gesser’s top takeaway from the spring overall:

“Normally when you go through spring ball… guys are just trying to get through it. When a team is ready to take that next step, spring ball becomes more like fall ball… and that’s what I’m seeing on the field out there now… this team knows they’re on the verge of being something special,” said Gesser.

Gesser said his biggest offensive takeaway from the second scrimmage on Saturday was that the offense made the plays when they needed to. He also said the Cougar defense is aggressive and relentless and the coaches don’t need to remind them to "bring it" as much as they did last spring.

Gesser, laughing, also had a theory for why there have been a good number of “fights” this spring.

“Leach never puts the offense in full pads unless it’s a scrimmage, so they’re always top half. But the defense is in full pads, because Grinch wants them in full pads. I’m going back to my playing days and when there are full pads on, there’s a different mentality. You’re mixing those two guys up and that’s why there’s a lot of fights,” said Gesser.

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