New Orleans — Wide receiver Jalen McCleskey transferred to Tulane for his final season of eligibility as a college football player, linking-up with his father, JJ McCleskey, who’s the Green Wave’s secondary coach. The Covington native spent his first four seasons at Oklahoma State, where he finished with 167 career receptions for 1,865 yards and 17 touchdowns, and brings a wealth of knowledge with him to Uptown.
“Since I’ve had the experience from playing at Oklahoma State,” McCleskey said, “[I bring] just a leadership role– being able to come in and help the younger guys with some of the things they might need to know. Just come in and bring play-making abilities also.”
For Tulane Head Coach Willie Fritz, he’s been most impressed with McCleskey’s speed, route running and toughness that he brings to the field every day. It’s an added bonus that he’s been battle-tested in the Big 12 Conference for the past 4 seasons.
“It’s big time,” Fritz said. “He’s got a lot of experience. There’s no coverages that he hasn’t seen. He can explain stuff to the younger guys. He’s going to be really good with in-game adjustments. Some guys have a hard time doing that. They only do it during the week and then you get into the game and it’s a little tough for them. But he’s got a high, high football IQ.”
McCleskey joins Tulane’s 2018 leading receiver, Darnell Mooney, as another major weapon for quarterback Justin McMillan to find downfield, and is expected to see a good amount of playing time for the Green Wave.