Manchester’s Jalen Glenn looking to shine in Gridiron Classic
Coming from a small school that doesn’t have the long and storied tradition of some of other Shore Conference schools, there are probably a lot of people who haven’t heard of Manchester running back Jalen Glenn, and even fewer who have seen him play.
Much of his motivation for Thursday night’s 41st Shore Sports Network All-Shore Gridiron Classic at Brick Memorial High School is for those who may be watching him for the first time. He’s hoping to force a lot of conversations in the crowd asking about the kid in the yellow helmet.
“That’s pretty much what’s really been on my mind for this game,” Glenn said. “Being at Manchester people might not know who I am so I feel like I’ll finally get a chance to show everyone how good I really can be and what kind of player I am. I’m excited about the opportunity.”
The Ocean County coaching staff certainly knew of him, and during the week of practice, they learned even more.
“I think what you don’t get to see on his game film during the regular season is that the kid is highly explosive,” said Central Regional/Ocean County head coach Justin Fumando. “He’s a football kid and also a track kid – a sprinter and a high-jumper – and to be the height he is (5-foot-7) and be a high-jumper means he’s very explosive. He’s going to give us a nice thunder and lightning thing in the backfield, a nice changeup we can throw at Monmouth County.”
Glenn was a standout for Manchester despite the team’s under-.500 record. In a crowded backfield that included quarterback Jerry Ward and also running back Lamont Lett, Glenn ran for 530 yards and six touchdowns (eight total) this past season. As a junior, Glenn rushed for 880 yards and 10 touchdowns (12 total).
On Thursday night he’ll be part of an Ocean County backfield that plans on running the ball early and often right at Monmouth County. Glenn joins Brick Memorial’s Tony Thorpe as a starter and the unit also has Lacey’s Jason Giresi, among others.
“We’re not trying to hide anything, if you look at the coaching staffs here, we’re going to run the ball,” Fumando said. “We have a nice little stable of backs.”
Glenn will be a great compliment to the punishing inside running of Thorpe and Giresi and has the versatility to run inside and outside and also be a pass-catching threat out of the backfield. Glenn is enjoying the moment, but his business-like approach during practice made him a standout immediately.
“He’s a high-motor, high-effort guy and you see it,” Fumando said. “He’s competitive and he doesn’t like when he messes up, so when you see that about a guy who’s on himself if he makes a mistake, that’s a good sign as a coach.”
“He’s going to flash on tape and on the field he’s one of our most explosive guys. The ball is going to be in his hands enough where they have to worry about him and that’s on them to figure out how they’re going to stop it.”
Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.