Jalen Wayne looks back on college career ahead of New Orleans Bowl
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Without a doubt, Jalen Wayne is having the best season of his college career, but it’s been a long journey for the sixth year senior.
Jalen joined the team out of Spanish Fort High School back in 2017. One year after South’s last bowl game. He says it took a little while to get used to playing at the college level.
“Definitely rocky. I had to learn a lot of things as a young guy but I had a lot of older dudes who set the example and set the standard for me as far as personally,” said Jalen Wayne.
It wasn’t just about adjusting to college football. Jalen along with linebacker A.J. DeShazor are the only two players on the roster to play for all three head coaches which for Jalen was part of several other changes over the last six years.
“I’ve had three different offensive coordinators, three different offenses, a bunch of quarterbacks to play for so always being able to be flexible and vulnerable has always helped me throughout the whole process,” said Wayne.
Despite the constant change, Jalen says he actually learned a lot from all of the staffs he worked with and in the end, it made him a better player.
“It helped me learn schemes and defenses because with changing the offense three times you have to make sure you know what you’re good at and what qualities and what you bring to the table,” said Wayne.
All the work paid off. This season Jalen hit several career highs including breaking the school record for most touchdown catches in a single season with 9. Probably what he’s most proud of is leading a wide receiver group that saw himself, Caulin Lacy, and Devin Voisin all have breakout seasons.
“We all have 700 yards I think which has never been done as a receiver group in the Sun Belt so having that to look back on as I leave and chase my dreams is a good feeling and personally, I feel like I did my job as both a leader and a player,” added Wayne.
Even with all of the records and accolades there’s still one more goal left. Bringing South Alabama their first bowl win in school history.
“For them never to experience a bowl game until their senior year that’s special,” said head coach Kane Wommack.
“I just knew I wanted to get to something like this and to have it happen in my last season is kind of like a story tale ending but I just hope it ends the way I want it to with a dub,” said Wayne.
Jalen and the rest of the Jaguars will go for that historic win Wednesday night against Western Kentucky in the New Orleans bowl. Kickoff is at 8:00 from the Caesars Superdome.
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