One of the Texas Longhorns who recently entered the NCAA transfer portal has found a new home with fourth-year defensive back Jalen Green announcing his transfer to the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday.
The decision reunites Green with Jason Washington, who served as his position coach at Texas and also his primary recruiter.
A top-50 prospect and the No. 4 player in Texas in the 2018 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, Green was part of an historic defensive backs class in that cycle, joining consensus five-star prospects Caden Sterns and BJ Foster, DeMarvion Overshown, and D’Shawn Jamison.
Unfortunately for Green, his development didn’t follow the same trajectory as some of his classmates. Not playing defense full time at Houston Heights was likely one reason, but the change in scheme in 2020 also played a role during Green’s crucial junior season.
As a freshman, the 6’1, 197-pounder mostly played on special teams before emerging as a seven-game starter in 2019 with 30 tackles, five pass breakups, and two tackles for loss. However, an early-season dislocated shoulder caused Green to miss four games and influenced his tackling ability when he returned.
When new defensive coordinator Chris Ash arrived in early 2020, his change in scheme favored the faster cornerbacks on the team and Green spent the season as the third cornerback in the rotation behind Jamison and Josh Thompson. Another injury, this time an ankle sprain, limited Green down the stretch and he eventually began cross training at safety when Sterns and Chris Brown opted out of the Alamo Bowl. Green finished the season with 14 tackles, one tackle for loss, two pass breakups, and an interception.
With McNeese State graduate transfer Darion Dunn still expected to enroll at Texas and the return of Jamison and Thompson, Green’s competition for playing time was only going to get more stiff.
The eligibility freeze by the NCAA means that Green will be able to play two seasons for Mississippi State, but whether he has to redshirt first depends on whether the NCAA passes the blanket transfer waiver or whether Green can successfully apply for a waiver due to the coaching change at Texas.