It’s been said a thousand different times in a thousand different ways, but it’s worth repeating: Jalen Pitre was a Baylor legend the moment he decided to stay at Baylor amidst a scandal that gave him every reason to leave.
Even if he had spent 4-5 years as a reserve player or minor contributor, Jalen would have correctly earned a soft spot in the heart of every Baylor fan for his loyalty and dedication to a program in turmoil when he showed up in 2017. Well, folks, he did just a little more than contribute in a minor way.
After a few seasons of watching and waiting, Jalen Pitre has established himself as an elite defender in college football. Jalen was invited to the Reese’s Senior Bowl, will almost certainly be playing in the NFL next year, and should be getting paid pretty handsomely to do it if he can rise up enough draft boards ahead of the NFL Draft next summer.
All of this well-deserved attention should be no surprise to Baylor fans as we have had the pleasure of seeing Jalen transform from a loyal and true player to a world-beating defensive back, but let’s take a quick peek at what people around the country are saying about him, shall we?
First, and most importantly the one that we all had our fingers crossed for, Jalen Pitre has been named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the year. This is the third time a Baylor player has won this honor, and the first under Head Coach Dave Aranda
Next, the AP released a story on Jalen detailing his Baylor experience as a recruit amid the scandal all the way through his historic year for the Bears this season. Real good stuff here, team.
Jalen Pitre was the lone recruit still verbally committed to Baylor when Matt Rhule was hired in December 2016.— AP Top 25 (@AP_Top25) December 3, 2021
Now, he's the Big 12 defensive player of the year.
by @hawkaptexas https://t.co/ysUH1JQ1Yf
And lastly, I know this one is from 2017, but if you would like to shed a tear or two this afternoon check out Jalen his freshman year lighting the Pat Neff Tower after the team’s lone win of the season.
After @BUFootball won Saturday, who got to flip the switch lighting Pat Neff green?— BaylorProud (@BaylorProud) November 9, 2017
Jalen Pitre -- the lone recruit who stuck with the team last fall: https://t.co/y3q2MZNPiF pic.twitter.com/KO6U5M3JA0
This has been a year full of special moments for the Bears, but nothing (not even a Big 12 Championship) should overshadow what this incredible young man has endured and achieved in his 4ish years on campus. Let’s all cross our fingers that Jalen ends his career at Baylor on top and moves on to a long and successful career terrorizing opposing quarterbacks.