I feel as though we are just now hitting our stride. Though we have been at this for a while, it seems like we just started. With 35 days left to go for the start of Boise State football, we have a new face to profile—Jalen Walker.
#35, Jalen Walker, Freshman, DB
(I had a heck of a time finding a picture, so I just went with this one.)
Weight: 175 lbs
High School: Lawndale High School, Lawndale, CA
How'd he get to the Blue™?
Jalen Walker was a bit of a surprise get for the Broncos having not really been on the radar until signing day. Fascinatingly enough is that he was a consensus three star athlete on all the services (Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, ESPN) but did not get much love in terms of offers. As in he had just the one from Boise State. No matter, though, as he ultimately made the correct decision by becoming a Bronco.
Because winter is coming.
The picture above wasn’t great to work with. But maybe a young Curtis James Jackson III aka 50 Cent?
Mr. Walker’s lists of achievements seem to be disproportionate to the amount of love that he got on the next level. His senior season he had what some would call a “good season.” He recorded 116 tackles, 76 of those solo. Which included 23 tackles-for-loss, four sacks and an interception. That performance over the year was good enough to get him Defensive Player of the Year in the Ocean League. Compare that to “just” 46 tackles (17 solo) his junior year and an interception. You see he “trended up” from his junior to senior year and, what we call in the business, “got better.”
He even has a nice set of hands as well catching 12 passes for 172 yards and three touchdowns as a senior. When he was a junior he made the first-team All-Ocean League roster.
My old history and gym teacher in high school (none other than former Boise State QB Jim McMillan) always used to tell us the three most important things about gym class (or weight lifting as he also taught that): “safety, safety, safety.” And boy has Boise State had a pretty solid run of safeties the last few years. Undoubtedly some of the biggest fan favorites have been safeties (George Iloka, Jeron Johnson, Marty Tadman, Darian Thompson).
So where does that put Mr. Jalen Walker? As he joins DBU, he finds himself in a position to learn a lot from those that are in front of him. He is going to have the opportunity to learn from Chanceller James, who is in his final year, and Dylan Sumner-Gardner who is entering his third year into the program. DSG was good enough as a true freshman to see some playing time. The Broncos are pretty thin at safety. Which could mean that if Mr. Jalen Walker is good enough, he very well could see some time and that the Broncos are willing to let him take his lumps in the fire. But that would presume he could beat out Damion Wright, Kameron Miles, and Evan Tyler. Or the Broncos had a sudden rash of injuries (WHY DID I PUT THAT DOWN IN WRITING?!).
I will say, though, that I believe he makes it through the year with his redshirt still intact. The Broncos will be able to keep their health up long enough for Walker to just commit to learning the defense his first year. As Mr. Walker starts his second year he will continue that whole “getting better” thing and do good things on the field.
Is he on Twitter?
Yes he is. You can find him here. However he has his tweets protected. So unless he approves your request you will not be able to see his tweets.
Completely made up fact
Lightning strikes about 6,000 times a minute across the planet. Jalen Walker will hit players on opposing offenses once, but with the same amount of power as those 6,000 times combined. Which is a lot. It involves a lot of math you wouldn’t understand, but it’ll hurt. Trust me.