High School Sports

TCU, Texas, OU, Arkansas would let this elite DFW DB play two sports

Texas was one of the first schools to tell elite DFW prospect Jalen Catalon that he could play football and baseball.

Now more programs are following the Longhorns.

“TCU said I could talk to the baseball team and they’d adjust where I could do both,” Catalon said. “Same for coach Chad Morris at Arkansas and Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma – they would give me a good opportunity to do both sports.”

But it’s not going to factor in Catalon’s football recruitment.

“I’ll see if other schools will let me play both down the road, but it won’t play a factor in my recruitment too much,” the 2019 Mansfield Legacy safety said. “If the school is good enough for football and it’s the place I want to be – then I’ll be there. I’m going to look at all my options and see what everyone has to offer, and make a decision with my family.”

The 4-star athlete was among the best in the country during The Opening Finals this weekend at The Star.

“It’s my first time here. I was one of the last ones called up so it’s a blessing to be here with so many great athletes,” Catalon said. “Iron sharpens iron and it’s been great to compete with the wide receivers and learning from the defensive backs. It humbles you.”

Jalen Catalon
Mansfield Legacy’s Jalen Catalon (5) eludes Frisco Lone Star’s Jaylan Ford (45) during a Class 5A state quarterfinal playoff game at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Dec. 9, 2017. Max Faulkner mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

Arkansas visit

Catalon is the No. 11 ranked safety in the country and No. 26 overall player in the state, per 247Sports. He has 23 offers that include TCU, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Clemson, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Texas Tech, Wisconsin, Stanford, Nebraska and more.

He said his next stop is Fayetteville later this month.

“I got Arkansas on July 27,” Catalon said. “It will be great to see what they have to offer and to see coach Morris and his staff. I’ll be able to breathe in the culture there.”

Morris is in his first year with the Razorbacks after spending the previous three seasons at SMU.

His other Texas ties include coaching at five different high schools including Austin Lake Travis and Stephenville. His sister Michelle is the head girls basketball coach at Legacy, so it’s no surprise he was one of Catalon’s first offers.

“He kept a really strong relationship with me, so it was easy to keep in touch with him even after he transitioned to Arkansas,” Catalon said. “He is a reason I’d say Arkansas is on my list. It’s a great place.

Catalon also made a visit to Alabama, but don’t expect any decisions any time soon.

“No Top 5 or Top 10 for me yet,” he said. “Not sure when I’ll make a decision or narrow it down, but it’ll be a family conversation.”

Jalen Catalon
Legacy defensive back Jalen Catalon (5) made the all-state team as Defensive MVP. Steve Nurenberg Special to the Star-Telegram

Ready for 2018

Catalon played quarterback and safety last season as the Broncos went to the state semifinals for the first time in program history.

He accounted for over 1,000 yards passing, 1,100 yards rushing and 28 touchdowns. He also made 101 tackles and three interceptions.

As a sophomore, Catalon was voted defensive player of the year by the Star-Telegram, Associated Press and District 10-5A.

Legacy is primed for another great season in 2018. The Broncos defense also includes top prospects DB Jeffery Carter, who transferred from Aledo, DE Taurean Carter, DT Enoch Jackson and DB Jared Hopper.

“Getting Jeff was like icing on the cake. It’s a big boost and gives us good confidence,” Catalon said. “But we’ll stay humble and work hard in the off-season. We are talented, but anyone can beat anyone so we’ll bring it every game. We have the talent so I don’t see why we can’t win state, but it’s one game and one snap at a time. We’re fired up for the season.”

The Broncos start the season Aug. 31 at Jenks, Okla.

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