Jalon Kilgore emerged as one of the top players in the state last year when he caught just under 1000 yards receiving and was also a standout on defense where he had 88 tackles and caused a lot of turnovers. The superb season ended with him making All-State honors on the site and solidified Kilgore among the top in the class of ’23.
Over the offseason, the 2023 prospect earned the interest of FBS programs across the country but ultimately chose South Carolina as a future domicile. Kilgore talked about that decision that he made back in June.
“What made me choose South Carolina is that it made me feel like I was at home and they are going to build me and make me a better man on and off the field,” Kilgore said.
Over the years, we have watched Kilgore and his brother, Gerald, do their legendary offseason workouts at home. Now with his brother going off to Tennessee Tech this summer, Jalon was the focus of the household. The tempo did not let up tho, and Kilgore was focused on sharpening up his skills at defensive back.
“I feel like where I have improved the most is my coverage and man-to-man skills,” he said.
Putnam County has been a program on the rise the last few years winning 10 games in 2020 and following up with 12 victories in 2021. There are a lot of expectations here in 2022, and the Class 2A state long jump champion talked about how senior year is shaping up.
“Senior year has been going great! We are 2-1 and really feel like we are going to do some great things this year.”
So far, they have beat Baldwin and Jasper County. The ladder game, against Jasper County, is partially the inspiration for this article. Putnam County won 42-13, and one of those scores by Kilgore ended up winning the top play of the week.
The senior took a high kick-off fielding the ball around the 25-yard line. He quickly got up field banking towards the right sideline but was soon surrounded by the opposition. With the coverage team bunching together, Kilgore brushed off a tackler and reversed back to the left before getting corralled once more around the 50-yard line. Kilgore’s athletic prowess shined, he stuttered back a few yards and then hit full speed down the left sideline blowing by the pursuit and easily getting into the endzone. The play was amazing, and the senior had perhaps broken almost every player on the coverage teams ankle’s in the process.
The play in itself showed the versatility and immense athleticism of the 6’2″ skill player and should have South Carolina fans excited to see him suit up in the future. Though Kilgore plays all over the field, he said that he prefers to play safety the most, stating that it allows him to show his versatility the best.
After going through the recruiting process, the senior had some wise words for upcoming prospects and how they should approach the recruiting process.
“The advice I would give to younger guys about the recruitment process is to be patient and wait for your opportunity,” he said.
With it being his final year at Putnam County, Kilgore’s goals are aligned with continuing to build the program up by being a team leader.
“My goals are just to keep playing well, stay healthy, build chemistry with my teammates, and teach them as much as I can,” he said.
No doubt, Putnam County is once again a team to have circled on your schedule. This Friday they play against Butler, where Kilgore and his squad will look to improve to 3-1 on the year. After that, region play starts, and that’s when the schedule will get serious once more for the defending Region Champs. The senior is sure to produce more exciting plays in the upcoming weeks, so be sure to follow @RecruitGeorgia on Twitter to see the latest from Kilgore and athletes across the state of Georgia.