The Recruiting Guy:

Texas safety to take look at UA

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Friday, July 6, 2018
Chad Morris, Arkansas head coach, leads drills Thursday, March 1, 2018, during Arkansas spring football practice at the Fred W. Smith Football Center in Fayetteville.
Photo by Ben Goff
Chad Morris, Arkansas head coach, leads drills Thursday, March 1, 2018, during Arkansas spring football practice at the Fred W. Smith Football Center in Fayetteville.

FRISCO, Texas -- Highly recruited safety Jalen Catalon narrowed his numerous scholarship offers down to eight, including the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville in May, and now plans to get his first look at the Hogs on July 27.

Catalon, 5-10, 180 pounds, of Mansfield (Texas) Legacy narrowed the list to Clemson, Alabama, Texas, TCU, Ohio State, Nebraska and the Razorbacks. ESPN rates him a 4-star recruit, the No. 11 safety and the No. 211 overall prospect in the nation for the 2019 class.

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"I'm excited to see what they have to offer," Catalon said. "That's my first time being there so I'm going to go up there and just see how football is and how the campus is. My family is going to be out there so it's going to great for them to see and see what they think about it also."

The Razorbacks have received an assist from two of his teammates. Defensive linemen Taurean Carter and Enoch Jackson Jr., visited Fayetteville on Feb. 24 and have given Catalon good reviews.

"I know they wouldn't lie to me, and they'll keep it real to me, and they said they liked it and that they really loved it. That was really great to hear to know one of my closest teammates telling me what it was like," Catalon said. "They said it was a great place and they really liked how they got treated down there."

Catalon, who took part in The Opening at the Dallas Cowboys headquarters at The Star from Sunday through Tuesday, was named The Associated Press' Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year and the Texas Sports Writers Association Class 5A Defensive MVP as a sophomore after recording 196 tackles, 10 interceptions, 7 tackles for loss, 7 pass breakups, 3 forced fumbles and a recovered fumble.

He also completed 136 of 214 passes for 1,701 yards and 33 touchdowns

As a junior, Catalon recorded 93 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 3 pass deflections, 4 recovered fumbles and a forced fumble while completing 61 of 116 passes for 1,120 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Coach Chad Morris was the second coach to extend a scholarship offer to Catalon while at SMU on Dec. 7, 2016. Morris' sister, Michelle, is the head girls basketball coach at Legacy.

Catalon also knows safeties coach Ron Cooper from when he was at Texas A&M before landing in Fayetteville.

"I kept a good relationship with Coach Morris and Coach Cooper, too, while he was at A&M, and now that he's over there it's kind of the same relationship, but just with a different school," Catalon said. "Coach Morris was one of the first people to offer me at SMU."

Catalon also plans to officially visit the Hogs for the Alabama game on Oct. 6. He knows former Razorbacks cornerback Tevin Mitchel, who attended Legacy. Mitchel talked up the college atmosphere around Fayetteville.

"It's [a] college town and the fans there are crazy and just football wise itself, it's what they're all about," Catalon said. "I want to go out there and see what it's like for myself.

"I like playing the middle field. When it comes to college, if they want me to play nickel, I'll play nickel and adjust to it. Sometimes you have to try new things and be open minded and that's what I'm going to do when I get to college. If I end up playing corner for some reason, I'm not going to say no, I'm going to say, yes sir, and just do it."

Also an outstanding baseball player, Catalon has been given the green light to play the sport in college by several schools, including Arkansas.

"Coach Morris said if I want to play baseball, he said while I'm down there I can go talk to the baseball coach," Catalon said.

E-mail Richard Davenport at rdavenport@arkansasonline.com

Sports on 07/06/2018

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