The 2023 four-star defensive end out of Detroit, Michigan already had his list cut down when he came to Ohio State June 1 for a recruiting camp, focusing in on schools like Pittsburgh, Penn State, Michigan State and Cincinnati.
But Thompson still wanted to see what it would be like in Ohio State's defensive line room under Johnson, showing off his personality and his ability as an athlete.
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Johnson liked what he saw.
"Once he see that I am a good person, he felt like he was comfortable," Thompson said. "Because he said he wouldn't coach nobody if he felt he was going to waste his time."
Getting an Ohio State offer after that camp, Thompson and Ohio State have been in constant contact ever since.
Jalen Thompson staying in touch with Ohio State football coaches
The 2023 defensive end said he talks to Johnson every week, receiving texts from the Ohio State defensive line coach asking about his well-being and his family, developing their relationship and pushing the Buckeyes into contention along with the Spartans, Bearcats, Nittany Lions and Panthers.
It's something Thompson wanted to show his family, returning to Columbus Monday for an unofficial visit with his mother, who was impressed and enjoyed the atmosphere Johnson, graduate assistant Cam Spence and director of recruiting strategy Nick Murphy showed off.
Johnson is still looking for a few more members to add to his room in 2023.
Ohio State remains in the hunt for players like five-star defensive end Mayayo Uiagalelei, four-star defensive end Damon Wilson, four-star defensive end Desmond Umeozulu, who is scheduled to choose between the Buckeyes, North Carolina, South Carolina and Pittsburgh Aug. 29, and John Walker, who will announce his commitment Thursday.
Thompson still has a decision to make, though.
The 2023 defensive end has already used two of his official visits with Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, and plans to use the rest on Penn State, Michigan State and Ohio State before he makes his decision before his final season at Cass Technical High School in Detroit.
"Really, the biggest thing I compare is who is going to develop me the best and allow me to reach my goals the quickest along with really seeing the difference between the places that are going to help me off the field as well, that's going to help me after football," Thompson said.
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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Jalen Thompson, 2023 DE, furthers relationship with Ohio State