As the only sophomore to make the Associated Press 2016 Class 5A All-State first team, Mansfield Legacy safety Jalen Catalon wowed people all season long.
In 10 regular-season games, Catalon had 150 tackles, four interceptions, four forced fumbles and eight pass breakups.
Catalon had 20 or more tackles in three games, and for his efforts he was named Star-Telegram 2016 Super Team Defensive Player of the Year.
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The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder adds the honor with other season awards: District 10-5A Defensive MVP and Class 5A AP Defensive Player of the Year.
I say he’s the best in Texas.
Mansfield Legacy coach Chris Melson
“I mean he’s as good as I’ve seen, and I’ve thought all year long that he’s the best defensive player around,” Legacy coach Chris Melson said. “I say he’s the best in Texas.”
The Broncos (11-3) finished second in 10-5A and went to the Class 5A Division I state quarterfinals, a first in program history. Catalon recorded 10 or more tackles in 11 games.
He also finished with nine interceptions, including four in the final two games, and at least one in the final five games. As a team, the Broncos had 16 interceptions.
“I’m so proud of him. That is awesome,” Melson said. “He’s an impact player, and I think this is well-deserved.”
Five days after a 14-7 playoff loss to eventual 5A Division I state champion Highland Park, Catalon picked up scholarship offerf from Missouri and SMU.
24 Tackles for Legacy safety Jalen Catalon against eventual 5A Division II state champion Aledo
“I don’t know how you could have a better season if you’re a senior, junior or a sophomore,” Melson said.
Catalon had a season-high 24 tackles in a 59-41 loss to eventual 5A Division II state champ Aledo on Dec. 9. He followed that with 22 tackles against Midlothian a week later. His third 20-tackle game came against Mansfield Lake Ridge on Oct. 21.