Jalen McCleskey had always been a fan of Mike Gundy’s high-powered offense.
Last week, the St. Paul’s wide receiver committed to Gundy’s Oklahoma State program.
The 5-foot-9, 153-pound senior wide receiver from Covington is rated as a three-star prospect and the 83rd best wide receiver in the country, according to Rivals.com. He is coming off of a junior season when he hauled in 43 catches for 656 yards and six touchdowns.
St. Paul’s (1-0), ranked No. 6 in The New Orleans Advocate Super 10, hosts No. 8 Jesuit (0-1) on Friday
McCleskey said the chance to be in Gundy’s offense was too good to pass up.
“That offense is just so impressive,” he said. “They put up a lot of yards and a lot of points. I really fit in with what they are trying to do.
“I also have developed a very good relationship with the coaching staff, and I just feel like I fit in on the campus and in the program.”
Wolves coach Ken Sears said Gundy and his staff aren’t only getting a good football player, but a great person.
“Oklahoma State is getting a player in Jalen who has a tremendous work ethic,” Sears said. “He works hard every day to prepare to help his team win games. He is a great route runner and just one of those guys who pays attention to the game and does everything we ask him to do. When you have guys on your squad like him, you can’t help but feel better about your team.
“He will fit in well with what they are trying to do offensively at Oklahoma State. Jalen has tremendous skill and athletic ability. The thing which makes him stand out, though, is a lot of his ability is refined because he works extremely hard at it. He works hard and wants to be good. I think he will be successful.”
Choosing the Cowboys over scholarship offers from Southern Miss, Southeastern Louisiana, South Florida and Georgia Southern, McCleskey said the coaching staff at OSU was thrilled to get his commitment.
“The assistant coach recruiting me is Kasey Dunn, and I got the chance to tell him,” he said. “He was really happy and told me he can’t wait to have me up to campus to watch a game and take an official visit.”
His official visit to the Stillwater, Oklahoma, campus will come in January.
“I’m also going to try and make the game against Iowa State on Oct. 4 or Texas on Nov. 15,” McCleskey said.
Confident in his choice, McCleskey said his commitment to the Cowboys is permanent.
“I will not be taking any other visits to any other schools,” he said. “If another college coach calls me, my response will be I’m committed to Oklahoma State.”
McCleskey’s commitment to Oklahoma State is nonbinding until he signs his national letter of intent in February. In addition, he said he foresees no problems qualifying academically.