St. Paul's cornerback Jalen Thompson opened some eyes wide when he verbally committed to play football (and baseball) at South Alabama. Consider the fact that Thompson was being heavily recruited by big time programs like Georgia, Florida and Clemson and you see why this is such a big deal for South. Check out his profile from espn's football recruiting site:


Here are some thoughts from St. Paul's head coach Steve Mask about Thomson and his decision to

"(Head coach) Joey (Jones) got a big-time player.They recruited him hard, said the right things and Jalen feels comfortable there. They are an up-and-coming program.

Mask called Thomson a "phenomenal cover corner and return guy."

In my years as high school football analyst on UTV 44 I have talked to many an area coach frustrated by South Alabama's reluctance to seriously consider offering local players in favor of recruits far away. They have told me privately that South Alabama was "missing on guys" that could help them win. Apparently they didn't miss on this one. Thompson's verbal commitment is non-binding of course. Signing day is in February of 2015. Stay tuned.